Our featured Fair to Nature licensee for June is Norfolk Quail, a family-run firm producing ‘free to fly’ quail on their Norfolk farm and supplying restaurants and butchers counters across the UK.
Quail is often referred to as ‘the lobster of the game world’ and is a renowned dish on many high-end restaurants in Europe.
Norfolk Quail’s birds are reared slowly, on specially formulated rations and in bespoke designed housing. This makes for happy birds that provide a fantastic tasting meat.
“We did a blind tasting and the Norfolk Quail won hands down” says Michael Wignall, chef at the two Michelin starred The Latymer restaurant.
John and Ellie Savory, husband and wife team and owners of Norfolk Quail, are passionate about what they do and strive to produce the best quail meat and eggs they can, whilst sticking to their principles of farming sustainably and ethically.
The Savory family has been farming at Highfield Farm for well over 100 years. In 1997 John Savory took the decision to move away from beef farming and established an organic egg business. Diversification is the key to sustainable farming and this change led on nicely to the move to farming quail in 2011.
John and Ellie work hard as a team to run and develop the business in an environmentally sustainable way. A typical day may involve counting out quail chicks from the latest hatch, to packing up processed quail for collection, as well as all the other daily obligations of managing a Conservation Grade arable and livestock farm.
Ellie says: “It has been an amazing journey and we are still in our infancy, we only got a license to sell our quail UK wide in January 2014 and have put an awful lot of time and resource into perfecting our product. We now supply all the way from Scotland to Cornwall!
As with many local food producers, John and Ellie care greatly about how their birds are kept. Their passion and commitment to farming quail is an extension of their passion and commitment to farming and its importance to the UK. John and Ellie joined Conservation Grade’s Fair to Nature farming scheme in 2012 and manage areas of their farm for pollinators, birds and other wildlife. They have been involved in Operation Turtle Dove, testing new seed mixes aimed at creating the perfect habitat for the endangered Turtle Dove.
To find out more about Norfolk Quail and where to buy the meat and eggs, visit the Norfolk Quail website – www.norfolkquail.co.uk