Today, many of you will have seen a particularly horrid news story regarding the treatment of pigs at a farm in Lincolnshire. The footage made grim viewing and was difficult to watch.
We wanted to take a moment to talk to you about our view on this. Not to go into detail about our farming methods and approach to animal welfare as we were writing about this as recently as Monday. We are always open and honest about farming because we want to bridge the gap between consumers and producers. Instead we want to talk about the symptoms that we feel lead to issues like this occurring.
The truth is, that consumers expect pork to be cheap in exactly the same way as they did with chicken a few years ago. It took a huge campaign to expose chicken farming for what it was and demand higher standards that we were prepared to pay for.
The availability of £6 Gammons at Christmas, £1.95 packs of sausages or bacon to feed a family for under a fiver is no different to the issue of £2, caged reared chickens back then.
It is time for YOU, the consumer to demand more – and be prepared to pay for it.
If reading on the label that your pork is reared in the UK and from a Family Farm is enough for you as a consumer and yet you were upset by the footage shown in the news this morning, it is time you took more responsibility for the meat you are creating a demand for.
There are some really great producers rearing pigs in the UK. These farmers follow both conventional and organic methods of farming. But with the industry in its current state, without certification, can you truly trust what you are eating?
We believe that farming standards would improve significantly if people ate meat with full traceability, exemplary animal welfare and an audited certification. If this means people eat meat less often as a result, that is not a bad thing.
As ever, we remain committed to answering any questions you have about the way we rear the animals at Coombe Farm. We hope that as a result of this horrid news story, more folk will take the time to ask more of us and others doing a good job in the name of excellent produce with animal welfare at the forefront of the process.