So leading on from last month’s visits to some of our poultry suppliers, we flew over to Northern Ireland to visit Hewitt Meats. Around 8:00am we were met by Mark, our sales representative who took us through some very rural country land, with cattle and lamb in every field until we took a left hand turn down a very narrow road. Tucked away in the corner of a luscious valley just yards away from Jim Hewitt’s personal farm and herd stood the processing facility of Hewitt Meats. To say we were impressed was an understatement. The facility was bright and clean, the cutting line like a well-oiled machine, everyone knows their role inside out and are very competent at what they do. James Arnett, the co-owner, took us through to where our beef was being aged. We stood in front of a big bolted closed door with just a small glass window in the middle. Inside it was dark with a hint of blue light. As James unbolted and opened the door the blue lights shut off and regular light lit up the room. All our rib and loins were hung up, dark crust on the outside and all identical. James explained to us that our specified beef requirements are passed on to Jim and his internal team of cattle scouts. They scour the whole of Ireland to handpick our cattle to ensure the quality is second to none. Each of the loins is marked with an H which is branded into the cow so the farmer and abattoir knows it’s for us. These guys have to vet 10,000 cattle by hand per week and choose only 10% of the best to process.