Quality produce from a family devoted to keeping it local

Five generations of the Cossins family have been farming at Rawston Farm since 1877.

The farm, which stands in the heart of the beautiful Tarrant Valley on the edge of the Cranborne Chase, is on chalkland, allowing the animals to graze all year long on the lush, green, mineral-rich grass, perfect for beef cattle and dairy cows.

Farming is in the blood of Barbara, a farmer’s daughter who married fellow farmer James Cossins. James began his work on Rawston Farm in 1978, and together, the family hand- rear their Aberdeen Angus, Hereford and Rawstar dairy cows.

Rawston Farm has a long tradition as milk production suppliers since 1910 and in 1950 the farm’s very own Rawstar dairy herd achieved pedigree status.

Barbara said: “We still have the passport cards drawn out of the first heifers born in 1951 with the bloodline name Rawstar Sandy. We also raise traditional cattle breeds of Aberdeen Angus
and Herefords. All our cattle are grass fed all year round on the naturally lush and mineral rich grass that the Tarrant Valley affords us and we believe this to be some of the best grass pastures for our herds in the country. Rawston Farm is now being farmed by the fifth generation of the Cossins family, with the sixth generation already very involved in the farm. My real passion was always cooking and since 1992 I have been running The Langton Arms.”

The horse meat scandal of 2013 prompted Barbara to open Rawston Farm Butchery and Shop selling meat of the highest quality in animal welfare, traceable direct to her own farm or the very best farmers in the county.

The scandal, which saw horses entering the supply chain labelled as beef and sold in many products in the UK, resulted in thousands of products being withdrawn and a huge loss of consumer confidence.

Barbara said: “The shop was launched in 2012 as we were fed up with getting poor quality meat. We had our own beef on the farm and friends or other family members were rearing lamb and pork that were of the highest quality in animal welfare and traceability.”

The meat at Rawston Farm has been farmed, butchered, and prepared onn the premises. Beef is matured and hung on the bone for at least 28 days, which allows the fibres of the meat to break down.

All meat sold in the shop has been expertly cut by hand, by their very own skilled butchers in the farm’s own butchery, leaving only the best meat and fat for a superb taste.

Barbara said: “This natural process makes our beef incredibly tender and it is how our meat gets its ‘old fashioned’ superb flavour. Keep your food miles low and your taste experience high, is the motto of the Cossins family. At Rawston Farm Butchery and Shop we offer full traceability on all our meat, which has been either reared on our own farm or sourced from only the best local farmers and suppliers. Home-grown quality is everything to us.”

In 2018, Barbara launched the Love Local Trust Local brand, developed after noting that many visitors at their Open Farm Sunday wanted to know the provenance of what they were eating.

She said: “Our visitors love knowing the story of their food, the miles it has travelled and that they are buying and eating genuine local produce.”

Barbara is passionate about quality, honesty and proximity in all we eat and drink and preparing meals taken from the seasons.

“We should also be eating the misshapen vegetables that the supermarkets reject,” she added. “The producers often leave these on the ground to rot, when there are so many people struggling to feed their families this should not be happening. I have always believed small business should work together; it is not about being in competition with each other but supporting each other.”

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