WHEN it comes to eating meat and dairy products, it can be difficult to make the right ethical choices. But giving it up does not have to be the only choice as I discovered on a recent visit to Coombe Farm Organic.

General Manager, Ben White, has recently focused his energy on the new café, which opened towards the end of last year.

The café is situated on an estate owned by the A H Warren Trust in Crewkerne which holds many different businesses – garages, storage, organic meat, lettings, HQ for the trust, ponds, stables, water purification and more.

Coombe Farm produces organic, sustainable meat. Originally, it was a company that started online selling their cuts of meat or broths that could be sent to a customer,or a pub/restaurant, such as the River Cottage Kitchens.

Now, Ben wants to encourage people to explore the produce they have on offer, chat to staff at the café and understand the arguments surrounding eat meat or products of the meat industry.

Ben said: “There is a huge movement of people that really want to help the environment. There is a big vegan debate. I am very happy that the world is eating less meat and instead chooses the meat that we or companies similar to us sell.

“Many people are making sure ethically that they are happy to consume the meat, eggs and dairy they have chosen.

“They want to know where it has come from, how the animal lives, whether it has been reared sustainably, whilst also making sure they have one eye on packaging (all the packaging we send out, aside from the bag the meat comes in, is roadside recyclable).

“By inviting people to come in and talk to us, we are helping people to know whether they are making the right decision ethically to consume these products.

“I don’t just want people to read about it on the website, but I want people to be able to come here, have the conversations and the debates.

“Are people absolutely delighted when they rock up on our farm and realise that this is happening on their doorstep? Yes.

“Have we done a very good job of telling people it is happening on their doorstep? No, not really.

“We want people to feel comfortable coming to the farm, buying the produce and knowing the farmers.”

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Nitrate-free bacon and gluten-free sausages are two very popular products at Coombe Farm Organic. The farm work hard on making their meat the best it can be and therefore they won’t add sulphates, or a preservative to the bacon.

But this does mean their bacon is not a bright pink colour, like the ones you will see in supermarkets and it will not last as long – but it can be frozen.

“Here, we can talk about the provenance of the full life span from when the animal is born to the meat it provides” Ben explained.

“We can also look into how this feeds into the rest of what we are doing – how much land we commit to solar, making decisions about how much water goes through the milk processing area. The whole place is an ecosystem.”

Somerset County Gazette:

At the café, Ben is looking to serve the best of what they have on offer seasonally as well as the best produce that they want to showcase.

They have recently discovered loads of wild garlic in the wood near the estate and so they are planning to make some wild garlic pesto to include on the menu.

Ben added: “At the moment we have a slow cooked brisket burger which is served with really nice harissa coleslaw and salad and salsa.”

To celebrate the opening of the café, they have decided to host some supper clubs to celebrate the work of local chefs/producers with similar ethics and ideas to Coombe Farm Organic – they must care about sustainable food with great flavours.

Somerset County Gazette:

They have James Whetlor from Cabrito Goat Meat on April 3, Ella Snugg of Ella-phant kitchen on May 2, Julian Temperley from Somerset Cider-Brandy Company on May 22, Chase Distillery on June 4, Paddy Magill from Vine Wine on July 17, Helen Upshall on October 9 and Tim Maddams on October 17.

Ben added: “For me, I am really excited about the potential that Coombe Farm Organic has from a retail point of view. We are just scratching the surface in terms of what we can achieve.

“I am looking forward to getting out that message about sustainable, ethically sourced, meat with a conscience out there, as a counter to the more militant plant-based argument.

“I am also really excited about the supper clubs and getting the opportunity to talk to people about what we do here.

“Somerset is awash with wicked producers, but I do sometimes feel like we are producing and sending it all over the UK rather than producing it and showcasing it to everyone on our doorstep.”

For more information visit coombefarmorganic.co.uk