Peacefully located in Witton-Le-Wear, the Gateway to the Durham Dales and midway between the castle and a bird sanctuary, Thompsons has a well-established reputation for supplying only the highest quality meat to independent retail and catering butchers.
We are a small family firm, steeped in the fabric of the local livestock farming community and have operated here for four generations, since the 1950s. The business is led by Mark Thompson, and he and his father John both continue to farm as well as running the abattoir.
We are the only abattoir in the North East that selects only prime cattle under 30 months old. When the restrictions on selling older cattle into the food chain were lifted in the last decade we took a conscious decision not to use them. We only ever buy “clean” cattle unless it’s a few quality young bulls for specific customer requirements. Similarly, we only source ewes for mutton by request and don’t buy any tups or boars.
We produce beef, pork and lamb in carcases, quarters and primal cuts. We pride ourselves on having the right skills and being flexible enough to produce to any customer’s specific requirements, be it their own trim specification or consistent primal cuts of just the right size. Our slaughtering and cutting services are also available on a contract basis for those who might have just a few pigs up to large regular customers who bring full loads of cattle.
The exceptionally high standards that we operate and aspire to are achieved through having a thorough understanding of livestock and by buying only the best local animals. Our loyal staff are all highly skilled in their roles, they are all enthusiastic about producing quality meat and most of them have been with us for a long time, the vast majority for over five years, some “man and boy”!
Our plant operations are overseen by Food Standards Agency inspectors and we have achieved the Red Tractor Standard accreditation. We are delighted and proud to be suppliers to some of the finest retail butchers and caterers in the region as well as a number of award winning farm shops.
Doing things the right way is at the heart of our culture and we continue to believe that the right way is the only way when it comes to meat production.