We're convinced that the way our pigs are kept explains why the meat tastes so fantastic. They have every possible advantage in the taste department, being traditional breeds which are slower growing and bred for flavour rather than output. We make animal welfare our top priority, and we make sure the pigs can do all the things that these intelligent animals like to do, such as wallowing in the mud when it's hot and burrowing in deep straw when it's not. We keep them outside when possible, although in a wet year like this we have to move them inside to prevent their ground becoming a complete quagmire.
There's no getting away from the fact that to end up on a dinner plate, they have to go to the butchers. Their trip from home to Ruse's at Long Melford takes about 15 minutes, and there they are killed quickly and humanely. From conception through to slaughter, it would be difficult to come up with a system more geared to animal welfare.
A system like ours simply can't compete on price with supermarket 'bogof' offers, and we don't try to. We charge what we think is a fair price for a genuinely premium product. We like to develop a good business relationship with our customers, and it's a real boost when someone tells us the meat from us has been the best they've ever tasted.
In addition to the sales of meat, we can offer an 'adopt a pig' scheme for anyone who would like to be involved in the production of their pork from birth to slaughter. We're always happy to discuss details.