Alternative Meats started from the passion of a dynamic duo, Rachel & Jeannie. Their original experience of the British Meat Industry began in the world of Ostriches and this interest in an unusual meat extended originally to a comprehensive range of exotic Alternative Meats which included Wild Boar and Game, South African Game and Antelope, Kangaroo and Crocodile.
The girls first met in the Nineties, working with Rachel’s father in the British Ostrich Industry, and then in 2001 they formed their own Company, Alternative Meats Ltd. The business plan was to extend the product range to include Wild Boar from Cornwall, and British Wild Game and Venison, sourcing from local shoots in Shropshire and Cheshire. When Foot and Mouth was announced on their very first launch day, all these products immediately became almost impossible to source in the UK and the girls were forced to react rapidly and look further afield – hence bringing in Antelope and Ostrich from South Africa. This proved successful for a number of years and resulted in a high profile for the Company, with the girls appearing on Ready Steady Cook with Ainsley Harriott, Good Food Live on Channel 4, and many guest appearances on BBC Radio 4, plus of course the publication of their Cookbook, The A – Z Exotic Meats published by Harper Collins.
However, everything began to change when Rachel and Jeannie became interested in British Rose Veal, in the first half of the Noughties. The predicament of British Dairy Farmers, who were in the dreadful situation of having to cull bull dairy calves when they were born, inspired them to put in a lot of work raising public awareness about eating British Rose Veal, and they are still selling this product 15 years later. Other Artisan producers, also searching for a route to market, approached the girls to get their products off the ground, and this was particularly true of Ifor Humphreys in Montgomeryshire who first met with the girls in about 2010, and described his vision for Welsh Wagyu Beef. This is now the flagship product of Alternative Meats and has been the key that has opened the door to supplying some of the most well known Michelin-Starred Chefs of Great Britain, including celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Heston Blumenthal, and Michelin-starred Chef Gareth Ward from Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms, who remains a great friend. They were delighted to find themselves supplying Matt Worswick on the popular TV Programme Great British Chefs and watched him rise to Michelin-Star status as one of their customers.
Welsh Wagyu Beef has been followed rapidly by Mangalitza Pork, and Lisa and Tim of Otterburn Mangalitzas approached Rachel to follow in the footsteps of the Welsh Wagyu, believing passionately in their rare Pedigree Hungarian Mangalitzas and again, looking for a market place. It sat naturally within the products that Alternative Meats promotes – fantastic quality, with a stand alone taste experience, like nothing you have ever had before – a real recipe for success in today’s very competitive and challenging meat industry.
Alternative Meats which are now in its 22nd year is now solely owned by Rachel who has taken the business to the next level. She works closely with the Chefs and takes pride in her knowledge and bespoke butchery. Diane looks after the Website customers from start to finish and Rhiann is a great asset to Rachel in the Butchery.
By chance alone, they are an entirely female-run company, which is quite a rarity in an incredibly male-orientated industry and the team are driven and dedicated to ensuring the highest standards of quality and taste and specialise in supplying some of the finest produce available. This drive has built the business into one of the UK’s finest online suppliers for uniquely different breeds and bespoke butchery, keeping them fresh and a little different within this rapidly developing market place.
Alternative Meats are renowned for their quality, variety, and bespoke butchery but most importantly their personal customer service they provide from start to finish.
Director and Head Butcher – Rachel Godwin – Meat Management’s Meat Businesswoman Award – Craft Butcher for 2020
Here are just a few quotes from the people they supply and work with:
“Alternative Meats is part of the Ynyshir Family.
Quality with attention to detail and great great service!”
Gareth Ward – Chef Patron Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms
The incredible Ladies at Alternative Meats.
We are proud to have supplied you with our Wagyu for nearly 11 years and hope to continue doing so for many more.
Glad to be part of a great team!”
Ifor, Eira, Alwyn and Michael – Farmer Ifor’s Welsh Wagyu
We have been working with Alternative Meats for just over 6 years. I remember our first meeting well when Rach and Di came to inspect our farm.
The weather was abysmal, despite this, and almost losing Di in the mud, the girls braved the Yorkshire weather and left no stone unturned checking our entire herd of pigs had the 5 freedoms of animal welfare and a happy enriched life.
Rachel has developed and created the most amazing award-winning bacon and gammons from our Mangalitza.
We are proud to supply Alternative Meats, they really are a brilliant team of ladies to work with and I wish them every success for the next 20 Years!
Lisa and Tim – Farmer Otterburn Mangalitza