A RIPON-based online meat retailer has teamed up with free range pig farmer Anna Longthorp to tackle the supply chain crisis facing British pig farmers.

By offering two free-range ‘half-pig’ boxes direct to the consumer, Farmison & Co plan to ease bottlenecks in the system caused by industry staff shortages in abattoirs.

The goal is to prevent food waste and the unnecessary loss of healthy animals.

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Anna Longthorp runs Anna’s Happy Trotters in Howden, East Yorkshire, one of the UK’s largest pig farming areas.

Farmison & Co will offer its customers home delivery of a free-range half pig or free-range quarter pig box, all supplied from Anna’s farm.

The boxes will be available to order from today (February 14) for the first deliveries on Wednesday, February 16

Each box contains a range of cuts, butchered in portion sizes ready to be used in meals or frozen.

The Northern Echo: Pig farmers are facing challenging times Picture: PixabayPig farmers are facing challenging times Picture: Pixabay

Although Anna was initially unaffected by the bottlenecks in the system, her decision to help neighbouring farms and take their surplus pigs to avoid culling means she is now faced with over-capacity and surplus pork.

Her farming system is RSPCA freedom food accredited, with animal welfare at the heart of Anna’s farming operation.

She contacted Farmison & Co who were only too happy to help by making capacity available at the company’s butchery in Ripon which has been recruiting staff to cope with extra demand and record sales.

The pork will be packaged into half pig or quarter pig boxes which will be added to Farmison’s online store and customers can directly help pig farmers by choosing to buy Anna’s pork.

John Pallagi said: “We’ve known Anna for some time and are very impressed with Happy Trotters and her free-range pigs.

"She represents British farming at its best, rearing animals in a compassionate and sustainable way and providing customers with high quality meat.

“It’s heart-breaking to see the problems staff shortages in the industry are causing some farmers and their animals.

“We already sell a full range of pork products and are delighted to add Anna and Happy Trotters to our network of Yorkshire farms.

The Northern Echo: Farmison and Co founder John Pallagi Picture: FARMISONFarmison and Co founder John Pallagi Picture: FARMISON

“The half pig box is a fantastic addition to our range, offering great value to customers in an environmentally friendly way that uses all of the animal, from nose to tail.”

Anna said: “The whole industry is in crisis with the large processors not taking their contracted pigs.

"This has led to pigs with nowhere to go. I have been helping other farms by taking more pigs but now we are in position where we need an outlet.

“I am really grateful Farmison & Co are working with us on this, because we really do need to find a customer.

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"It also means that we can keep our standards above and beyond legal requirements and not compromise on high animal welfare.”

On Thursday last week farmers from around the UK gathered in York as representatives took part in a roundtable discussion with Defra about what they say is a crisis in British pig production.

Last month John Pallagi launched a Save Our Seasons campaign urging consumers to choose seasonal foods, preferably produced in Britain, to keep down food miles, reduce waste and support local farmers.

Farming Minister Victoria Prentis said at the time: “The sector has been faced with a range of challenges, including the loss of exports to the Chinese market for certain pig processors, global disruption to CO2 supplies, and global labour shortages and we want to support the industry to reduce the current backlog of pigs on farms.  "

In 2021 Farmison & Co was awarded the coveted title of Online Butcher of the Year and named as one of Yorkshire’s top Butchers in the Countryside Alliance’s Rural Oscars.


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