A SOUTH Chard farmer has changed his business in a bid to improve sustainability.

Matt Lampey, who runs a 165 acre farm, has signed up to start selling his cows online in what's known as 'crowdbutching'.

Through Buyacow.uk, customers can sign up to buy a share of the cow. When the cow is 100 per cent sold, its transported to a butcher where the meat is matured for three weeks before being delivered.

Mr Lampey said: “Crowdfunding, or crowdbutching, is a brand new concept in meat shopping. Nothing is wasted. Only when the entire cow has been bought does it go to the butcher. What’s more, the entire cow is used. Everything is sold, from nose to tail. Even the hide and bones are repurposed, and it’s a genuinely sustainable way to buy meat.

“I partnered with Buyacow because I wanted to find a way of connecting what we’re doing more directly to the consumer. Buyacow offer a unique service that brings lots of strangers together to buy a single cow. This process gives people a greater understanding of exactly where each animal was reared and what kind of life it had. It’s just a great way of purchasing high-quality meat.”

Matt’s family-run business has been in operation for more than 19 years. He runs the farm with his father Albert, where they are responsible for around 300-400 Charolais, Limousin, British Blue and Shorthorn cows.

Iman Fatehi, country lead at Buyacow.uk said: “It doesn’t get more transparent or accountable than this. More and more people want to buy their beef locally, they want to know exactly what they are eating and where it has come from. Unlike the supermarkets and traditional butchers, with this concept, there’s no unwanted beef to dispose of.

"Matt is passionate about sustainability and animal welfare and the ethical practices he's undertaken have helped to rear some of Somerset's most sought after grass-fed cows. We only work with the best, most reputable farmers.”

Customers on average order around three per cent of a cow at a time. It's delivered in freezer boxes with no additives, colours of preservatives.

Mr Lampey added: “Our cows are pasture-based, so they stay out on the grass for as long as possible. I think that’s the most sustainable way of farming beef. The cows enjoy plenty of fresh air and sunshine, as nature intended, with no stress on the animal."