Getting your meat online

An Introduction to Online by John Pallagi, co-founder of Farmison & Co, winner of National Online Butcher’s Shop of the Year Award, 2016 & 2017.

When Lee Simmonds and I set up our online heritage breed meat butchery business Farmison & Co in 2014, we had been spurred on by a desire to encourage people to eat better meat, and to help them to source it more easily. 

It seems to me that buying excellent quality meat with trusted provenance is becoming more difficult, as bricks and mortar butcher’s shops are diminishing in numbers – victims of the supermarkets’ takeover of our country; and less time is dedicated to shopping in individual specialist stores.  Getting out to see the local butcher – if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby – is, at best, challenging.  I think that’s why traditional butchers are considering an online element to their businesses – they need to be catering to modern-day consumers being time poor and convenience crazy.  

In my experience, there are several keys to ensuring a slick online operation.  Firstly – the suppliers.  We work with a collection of reliable farmers in the North of England who practise slow-growing, non-interventional farming methods, which ensure a high level of welfare.  Their animals are free range and from heritage breed stock.  Our in-house butchery team works closely with the farmers to ensure supply levels, without compromising the process. 

Next – the website.  We have invested heavily in ensuring that the browsing and buying process is straightforward.  It needs to be as easy as going into a shop and explaining to a butcher exactly what you need.  We even have a bespoke facility, where consumers can put in special requests.  Efficient delivery and quality assurance are crucial.  My overriding advice to a business wanting to get online would be to find someone who really knows how to build an easy-to-navigate website, displaying appealing product in a clear and informative way. 

It goes without saying that a knowledgeable customer care team and a first-rate delivery service are essential to the business.

John Pallagi is co-founder of online butchery business Farmison & Co.

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