Free-range pork? Only if it’s cheap

BBC News is reporting animal welfare campaigners want to encourage consumers to buy more free-range pork in the same way they’re trying to encourage free-range chicken.

What the BBC fails to report is experiences like ours: customers say they want the higher welfare free-range pork (or indeed chicken) but when it comes to putting their money down most will opt for whatever is cheapest.

Animal welfare campaigners want to raise the profile of pig farming standards. But shoppers trying to buy “ethical” pork are met with a bewildering array of labelling. So could free-range pork be the next free-range chicken?

Look at all the logos and labels next time you browse for that pork purchase.

Outdoor reared. Outdoor bred. Organic. Free-range. Freedom Food endorsed. Red Tractor assured.

But however confusing the labyrinth of kitemarks may be, the demand for ethically produced porcine products appears to be growing.

via BBC News – The bewildering labelling of pork.

If customers really were prepared to pay the higher costs of free-range pork, which is less efficient and has higher costs than pork from more intensive systems, we wouldn’t have culled our herd. Nor would others be culling theirs.

4 Responses to “Free-range pork? Only if it’s cheap”

  1. Dennis, we never have tasted pork as good as yours. I am very disappointed that you were unable to continue but totally understand why you had to get rid of the pigs.

    It is terribly sad that we cannot make ethical choices because of the widespread ignorance of consumers in general. It’s a vicious circle that is unlikely to change as long as cheap, poor quality food is what consumers actually buy.

    • We had several score potential customers this year, but only a dozen or so were prepared to pay a realistic price that covered all our costs plus a margin of 5-8%. Pork production isn’t sustainable on that basis.

      Our last batch of porkers will go to slaughter in about 3-4 weeks time, so if you’d like some pork from them please contact us directly.

  2. Put us down for half a pig

    As the pork you produced was to die for

    • We’re experiencing a problem with the abattoir. The butchering service has shut, but they didn’t bother to tell us. We only found out today when we went to book the pigs in and were told “Millers no longer offer a butchering service”. So we have three pigs, no butcher and a legal requirement to have the pigs butchered in licence premises if we want to sell the meat. Oh, and previous butchers have retired, died or quit doing private butchering.

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