Knepp Castle Estate is a Country Estate devoted to nature conservation.

The primary land use is a rewilding project of significant national interest and gathering importance, from which we take an annual harvest from our herds of organic grazing livestock, principally longhorn cattle, fallow and red deer.

The role that we are considering appointing in the spring/summer is a new position that we think presents a major career opportunity for anyone with aspirations in the ethical food sector.  It will also be a varied one.  Primarily it is to establish a new venture adding value to our deadstock, taking direction from the Burrell family and their estate manager Jason Emrich.

In summary:

  • We aspire to retail both raw and cooked meat direct to a new customer base, taking advantage of the interest in rewilding following Lady Isabella Tree’s book, plus sales to the local, London & Brighton markets and passing trade.

  • All our beef animals (c80 cattle pa) are currently killed in a two-month period in October and November, so this limits our ability for anything other than seasonal marketing, so we need to consider processing logistics (maturation, butchery, packaging, freezing) as well as opportunities to extend the season (ie burgers, charcuterie, ready meals, catering etc)

  • Our venison season is longer; we cull from August until April.  We cull about 250 animals per annum.

  • Projects that we are considering are:

o    Utilising existing on site third party businesses to butcher and market our meat, on some sort of profit share, rather than straightforward wholesale

o    Seasonal sale of the bulk of our produce whilst fresh, after generating a fervour of interest

o    Internet sales

o    Up-market slow-food burger sales in a woodland setting, capitalising on our passing trade, and as the antithesis of the busy MacDonald’s up the road!

o    Seasonal fresh meat butcher’s counter on some sort of JV in an on-site new farm shop currently being developed and let to a third party

o    Continuing with frozen meat sales (burgers, steaks and sausages) in our campsite shop

o    Pasture to plate catering for some of our safaris

o    Pop-up restaurant / Knepp harvest festival events

o    Possible link to the PFLA who are aiming to establish a marketing co-operative

o    Supplying Farm Drop, Food Chain, Hisbe and other markets with access to urban consumers and restaurants

o    Event catering at any forthcoming events eg 5000 people over 11 nights attending open air Shakespeare in June, weddings etc

  • We have upcoming TV interest in Knepp to help promote our brand and products, but need to be clear on our direction(s) of travel

  • We have a let butchery which we could take back in hand in 2019 as a base of operation.  We also have other chillers and an enormous commercial freezer.

  • We have consultants advising on where to focus resources.

  • Relevant skills other than a strong interest and background in food are a commitment to rewilding and a belief in organic and pasture fed meat.  In addition the role will need excellent communication skills, computer literacy, business focus, negotiation and organisational skills, market awareness and practical hands-on ability. 

  • You will be an advocate for our sort of meat production and consumption on all levels from tackling veganism, methane omissions, waste, plastic pollution whilst promoting the rewilding project and the Knepp Estate.

We would like to recruit a multi-talented and energetic person, capable of working with our existing staff, and potentially leading a new team, but are open-minded as to which particular skills the applicant has a leaning towards.

Hours of Work

40 hour week:  Monday – Friday, perhaps on an annualised hours contract recognising that the role may be seasonal in nature

21 days holiday + statutory days.

Salary - Dependant on skills and experience

If this role is of interest, please apply with CV to Jason Emrich by email, or by phone 01403 741235