Seek out higher welfare RSPCA Assured Wiltshire-bred pork this new year – available throughout the West Country and beyond…
Seven hundred feet above sea level in the Wiltshire Hills near Devizes is the award winning West End Farm. Family run for two generations, the farm produces higher welfare pork to RSPCA Assured standards. The farmer, Cameron Naughton and his wife Muriel, took over the family business in 2002, with the aim of rearing high quality pork with animal welfare as the priority.
“There are actually very few outdoor pig farmers in this part of the west country,” says Cameron. “The land quality for raising pigs is a constant challenge, but experience and new technology has helped us create an environment where we can manage larger scale, high welfare, outdoor breeding effectively.
“We’ve been members of the RSPCA Assured for many years now and we won a Compassion in World Farming ‘Good Pig Award’ in 2013,” adds Cameron. In 2015 we were delighted to win the Pig and Poultry Marketing Pig Producer of the Year award. “I love raising animals well. Seeing them reared to exhibit natural behaviours just like they do here, rooting in grass and straw, wallowing in big natural pools of water – it’s brilliant.”
For many years Cameron has sold his pork to local Wiltshire butchers like Walter Rose & Son, Devizes. Nationally it is available through Dorset based DB Foods, under the Brookfield Farm brand. “The last few years have seen people becoming increasingly aware and concerned about exactly where their food comes from and how it is looked after,” says Cameron.
“The last few years have seen people becoming increasingly aware and concerned about exactly where their food comes from and how it is looked after”
“It is a constant struggle to compete against much cheaper imported meat produced to lower welfare standards. I very much hope at the start of this new year people will increasingly seek out higher welfare products like ours, labelled RSPCA Assured. It really is a very simple equation – the more people demand it, the more butchers and supermarkets will stock it, the more producers will raise their standards and the more animals will benefit.
“After a lifetime in pig farming I’m not sure if a bit of pig-headedness has rubbed off on me or if I was always like it,” concludes Cameron. “Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you, but pigs look at you as an equal. The least we can do as farmers is treat them equally well.”
So when you are looking to buy pork this new year, be it from farm shops, butchers or local supermarkets be sure to look out for the RSPCA Assured label. You can also join in discussions and keep up-to-date with the latest farm animal welfare and RSPCA Assured news on their website.