Blythburgh Free Range Pork from Wild Meat Companyby Annabel Warne February 09 2016
We’ve recently started selling a range of farmed meat through our web site sourced from local farms we know and trust. Our aim was to make it easy for our customers to use our web site as a one-stop-shop for quality and ethically produced meat. We took care selecting suppliers who take animal welfare seriously and provide delicious meat.
One such local supplier is Blythburgh Free Range Pork, a family business based close to the Suffolk coast near Southwold. The happy pigs pottering in fields beside the A12 coast road have become something of a Suffolk icon and their meat is prized in top London restaurants, and butchers as well as local ones.The business is run by Jimmy Butler and his two sons who pride themselves on rearing pigs that spend their whole lives outdoors.
The light sandy healthland soil around Blythburgh has limited agricultural use but it is, apparently, the best land for outdoor pig-keeping in the whole of the UK. Unlike most free-range reared pigs, the Butler's spend all of their lives outside and have 80 times more space to run around in than conventionally reared pigs. This, they say, is reflected in the quality of the meat.
The pigs freedom to roam develops good muscle and tender meet. Being exposed to the sun and weather maintains the pig's skin in better condition leading to superior crackling on roasting joints. The breed of pig adds to the flavour the Butler’s pigs are a blend of lines, including traditional breeds Duroc, Landrace and Large White, specially bred to thrive under outdoor conditions. The Butlers run 1200 of these sows on 120 acres in addition to the 75 acres utilised by the growing pigs.
The pigs are fed a natural diet containing no antibiotics or growth promoters. They grow about 20 per cent slower than normal pig production which makes the animals more mature at slaughter - which again contributes to the juiciness and flavour of the meat. The piglets remain with their Mothers (sows) in insulated arcs for nearly four weeks until they reach a healthy size and strength to be weaned off milk onto solid food. This means the sows can have a well earned rest allowing them to recover after having so many hungry mouths to feed and the piglets are moved into large straw filled tents and huts that become their new homes.
Blythburgh Free Range Pork is a perfect partner for the Wild Meat Company, focussed on providing a high quality product with impressive animal welfare and a conviction that the future of British pig farming depends on the public wanting to know more about where their food comes from, rebuilding connections with farmers and demanding a responsible food chain.