NZ Pork believes Kiwis can taste the passion that local pig farmers have for their animals and the care that they show them, whether it’s at home or on restaurant menus.
When Karl Stanley’s grandfather and great uncle returned from World War Two, they purchased one of the farmland blocks set aside for returning soldiers. Today, Karl is proudly upholding those values, farming high quality pork on the land, nestled on the famous Surf Coast highway near Opunake in Taranaki.
Karl’s grandfather – former All Blacks manager Noel Stanley – and his brother Ron originally set up a small piggery to feed pigs the whey from their dairy herd – but eventually the piggery took over entirely.
“We love working with our pigs, they are just such interesting and rewarding animals to be around,” said Karl.
“We believe happy pigs with high standards of health and welfare and very good nutrition are the key to producing outstanding pork.”
Like Karl, the Andrews’ devotion to their animals is apparent in the way that they run their farm. Helen and husband Mark’s pig farm is nestled beneath the Southern Alps, providing the perfect moderate climate, free draining soil and low rainfall for outdoor pig farming.
“A happy pig is one that is given the ability to enjoy every day with all their needs met, plenty of space and the opportunity to express all their funny habits,” explained Helen Andrews.
“That’s the way we raise our pigs, and they really thrive.”
The Andrews have been farming pigs since 2004 and have grown the farm from humble beginnings over 400 sows.
“We love working with pigs,” continued Andrews.
“They are so rewarding for a stock person. Every one of our sows gets individual care. We know exactly how each pig is doing, how they are eating and performing and that everything is as it should be – that’s the skill of raising contented pigs and high-quality New Zealand pork.”
But not all pork available in New Zealand is created equally. Over 60 percent of fresh pork and 85 percent of processed bacon and ham comes from overseas. If a supplier doesn’t specify that they’re providing New Zealand pork, it probably isn’t.
If you’re passionate about serving the best quality, highest welfare pork on your menu, then make sure it’s from a kiwi farm. New Zealand pork producers are bound to follow strict animal welfare practices which aren’t currently required of imported pork.
If you want to show your support for local farmers, consider signing this petition which calls on the government to hold imported pork to the same high animal welfare standards as New Zealand pork. You can find the petition here.