Farming family highlight their green credentials as Beef Week nears

Fourth generation beef and sheep farmers Ben and Ethan Williams are highlighting their green credentials
Fourth generation beef and sheep farmers Ben and Ethan Williams are highlighting their green credentials

Beef producers across the UK are set to take centre stage in the upcoming Great British Beef Week, with one farming family highlighting their sustainable credentials.

Farmers are set to shine a light on the beef sector's sustainability credentials during Great British Beef Week, taking place from 23-30 April.

The campaign celebrates the versatility and taste of British beef, while highlighting the commitment and dedication of beef farmers to sustainable practices.

One family taking part are fourth generation beef and sheep farmers Ben and Ethan Williams, who farm on the outskirts of Cardiff at Garth Farm.

Ben said the native grassland is not intensively farmed on his farm: "The animals are grown at a slower rate, so you get better fat marbling in the meat," he explained.

"When our customers see where our animals graze, in a natural environment, amongst the native grassland and heather, I think they can really taste the difference.”

Garth Farm is home to the Williams family who have taken care of the land since 1959. Today, they keep a flock of almost 700 ewes and 20 rams.

The Williams’ also have a herd of pedigree Welsh Black cattle consisting of 46 suckler cows, two bull and some Welsh pigs.

The land encompasses Garth Hill, a scheduled ancient monument, and the Williams’ play an integral role as custodians of the land.

Their grazing management allows biodiversity to thrive, while ensuring their animals get the best nutrition, feeding on grass and herbs as nature intended.

“My grandfather carried out work on the hill in the 1950s, which greatly improved the biodiversity here," Ben said.

"Visitors to Garth Hill today can appreciate nature at its best – with birds such as sky larks and kestrels thriving."

The family a rich environment with native grass species and native woodland, with 80,000 trees planted over the years.

"We continued to lay hedgerows for the past 20 years, which are a haven for wildlife," Ben said, "There is plenty of tree cover, so we have many birds nesting here.

“It’s good to know that while our cattle are grazing in this rich and diverse natural environment, they are helping to protect it. I think this is what makes Welsh beef so special."

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), which backs the upcoming Great British Beef Week, said beef cattle in Wales were overwhelmingly reared in non-intensive farming systems.

HCC’s campaign executive, Philippa Gill said: “PGI Welsh Beef has an incredible story to tell – from the people who produce it, the sustainability and environmental credentials of our Welsh Beef, as well as its versatility and great taste.

"Those are all things that HCC is going to champion and amplify during the week – taking a multi-pronged approach to highlighting the uniquely Welsh credentials which we know resonate so well with consumers.”