Teesdale's Cross Lanes Organic Farm will be extending its range of locally produced meat this week with the addition of home reared rare breed pork to the fresh meat counter.

Brignall based father and son team John and Simon Hare have gradually being establishing a rare breed pig herd, sourcing organic breeding pigs and have now formed a herd of Berkshires, Tamworths, Gloucester Old Spots and Mangalitsa pigs which are crossed with a Sandy and Black boar.

A couple of these pigs were ready prior to Christmas allowing ‘slow cooked rare breed belly pork’ to be put on the Christmas menu, receiving great feedback from customers.

From mid January there should be a fairly consistent supply coming through. The meat from the rare breed pigs has been found to make fantastic succulent sausages.

All of these animals are raised to organic standards, allowing them to lead as natural a life as possible, with lots of space and freedom to roam, foraging on a natural diet, unlike some intensively reared animals.

February will see the return of grass fed shorthorn beef to the butchers. Introduced last year, demand quickly outstripped supply. As the herd is becoming more established there will be more meat coming though this year.

Local meat producers and retailers have reported an increase in sales following last year's horsemeat scandal, with customers increasingly demanding food they can trust. Cross Lane's butchers are supplied by Richard Ward from Cragg Top and Piercebridge Organic Farm.

Now there is the addition of pork and beef coming through from the Hare family at Brignall where the food miles are becoming virtually zero. The animals are born, reared and finished on the pastures next to Cross Lanes, giving a real focus on shortening supply chains from farm gate to consumer.

Peter Coverdale, Cross Lanes director said "The collaboration between the farm shop and the Hare family business is very exciting and further enhances our reputation as suppliers of local produce of an extremely high standard”.