It is incredibly important to us that the pork we use is free-range, using British and free range means we know about the quality and welfare. All the pigs are genuinely free range, born outside and spend their entire lives outdoors with access to shelter when they choose. There is a lot of confusion regarding the difference between outdoor bred, outdoor reared and free range and the illustration below shows the difference exceptionally well.
All of Marsh Pig’s pork is sourced from within East Anglia and is guaranteed free-range.
Pigs are divided into breeding herds of sows and piglets and finishing herds of pigs maturing for slaughter. Driving around the country, you’ll often see fields of pigs, which people mistakenly think are free range when in fact theses are breeding herds: the pigs that produce the pork are more than likely being reared indoors. In fact, despite the use of the word ‘outdoor’, unless the pigs are reared in a totally free range system, all finishing herds will spend as much as 90 days indoors and potentially in intensive conditions; information which is never disclosed to the consumer.
Our meat supplier ‘The Rare Breed Company’ offers the finest pedigree rare breed beef in the UK. All of the livestock they rear or buy directly from local East Anglian producers, have been reared in a totally free range and stress free environment, feeding on grass, hay and silage, which produces a meat that is not only succulent but also full of flavour.
These rare breeds need a longer time to mature and do not grow to the same size or as quickly as the commercial continental cross breed cattle. It is this slow growing nature that gives the meats it flavour. All the beef is then hung for up to 28 days to ensure the meat will not only taste good but is very tender as well. The breeds we use are as follows:
Angus, British White, Old Gloucester, Sussex Red, English Longhorn, Red Poll, Shorthorn, Dexter, Belted Galloway and White Park.
The rearing encourages the development of the fine grained meat, full of flavour that our Gloucester Old Spot pigs are renowned for. We do not use additive or growth promoters, the pigs are reared in the traditional way and live a further ten weeks in a stress-free environment.
The Rare Breed Company has 3 farms where they keep the old spots which are all within 5 miles from the farm. All the pigs are taken to a local family abattoir before coming back to the state of the art cutting plant.