John Pallagi (med res)

Source: Farmison & Co 

The half and quarter-pig boxes would help ease the ‘heart-breaking’ problems the industry was facing, Farmison said

Online meat retailer Farmison & Co has launched new half and quarter-pig boxes in a bid to help tackle the supply chain crisis facing British pig farmers.

In partnership with free-range pig farmer Anna Longthorp of East Yorkshire-based Happy Trotters, North Yorkshire-based Farmison said it hoped the new ’Save our Bacon’ boxes would ease bottlenecks caused by industry-wide butcher shortages and a ban by China on European pork.

They contain a range of cuts, butchered in portion sizes and ready to be used in meals or frozen. The half free-range pig box costs £180 and the quarter free-range pig box is £110, with both prices including delivery and offering consumers savings of between 28% and 35% compared with buying individual cuts, the retailer said.

“It’s heart-breaking to see the problems staff shortages in the industry are causing some farmers and their animals,” said Farmison CEO and founder John Pallagi.

“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.”   

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More than 200,000 animals have now been backlogged on farms, as a result of the crisis. While Longthorp was unaffected at first, she decided to take on surplus pigs from neighbouring farms to avoid their culling and is now faced with over-capacity and surplus pork.

“The whole industry is in crisis with the large processors not taking their contracted pigs,” she said. “This has led to pigs with nowhere to go.

“I am really grateful Farmison is working with us on this, because we really do need to find a customer,” she added. “It also means we can keep our standards above and beyond legal requirements and not compromise on our high animal welfare.” 

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.”

The RSPCA Assured-accredited boxes are available to order now, with deliveries commencing on 16 February.