Business owners Callum and Debbie Edge headed to Highgrove for the event, which focused on the importance of retaining the genetics of our native breeds, why these breeds taste better and ways in which we can improve the availability to the customer.
The Ark of Taste, which is Slow Food’s international project, also awarded the Saddleback Pig a place in the Ark.
Edge & Sons was established in 1844 and has a small abattoir attached to its New Ferry premises on the Wirral as well as a fully staffed butchery department in the popular food hall Delifonseca Dockside in Brunswick Quay.
Callum said: “I was delighted to be asked to speak at the conference and it was a great opportunity to meet with Prince Charles and those involved in the food industry to discuss important topics such as native breeds that are at risk of extinction, how to encourage availability, and also the use of these breeds by chefs all over the country. After all, if we are to preserve these breeds, we need to eat them!”
Shane Holland for Slow Food in the UK and Tom Beeston for Rare Breeds Survival Trust led the meeting, with more than 70 delegates in attendance including Director of Slow Food Cymru Altus Dunsford and Cyrus Todiwala of the Slow Food Chef’s Alliance, as well as Slow Food producers, farmers and other chefs of the Chefs’ Alliance in the UK.
Callum added: “The highlight for Debbie and I was when we were introduced to His Royal Highness as the best Rare Breed Butchers in the country. As a business, we do try to sell more native breeds than any other independent in the country but to be introduced to royalty like this was certainly a compliment.”
Spanning five generations, Edge & Sons serve up a wide range of cuts and products from locally reared and slaughtered beef, pork, lamb, mutton and poultry.
They were named Best Retailer of the Year in the 2014 BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards, being praised for the way that they ‘concerned themselves with every stage of the process’, and were awarded the RSPCA Independent Retailer Award in 2009 and 2012.
For more information about Edge & Sons visit www.edgebutchers.co.uk