Organic food production and what makes us different
We all know commercial farming practices are not good. Supermarkets demand cheaper food and the animals are the first to suffer. Commercial chicken farms are disgusting, birds in cramped spaces wallowing in their own faeces, pecking each other often drawing blood. Pigs kept in cages with barely room to move.
Organic food is a way forward. There are strict guidelines which a producer must follow with regard to animal welfare. Organic feed must also be used. There are certain chemicals that are allowed but only if it is in the interest of the animal. In which case an organic farmer must apply for a dispensation. Organic farmers are monitored closely. However, organic farmers are still under pressure to produce cheap meat. To lower their costs fast growing breeds are used. This isn't always the case.
In order to obtain 'organic' status a farmer must apply to an organic body, the Soil Association is one of the most popular. They must pay for a fee of £250 to the society a year. For a small producer like myself this is not financially viable.
Here at Zoe's Farm we pride ourselves in our animal welfare. Our pigs are kept in a small group and have lots of space. They even get a cooked meal once a day. The amount of space exceeds the requirement for an organic farmer. They are not given unnecessary chemicals but I can't call myself organic.
My pigs are different for to those used in commercial farming. I do not use fast growing breeds. My pigs on average live 3 months longer than a commercial pig. They can forage and they grow slowly. This means they have more flavour as well as a happier life.