David Orpwood has launched Stones Throw to market high quality, locally produced pig meat throughout Oxfordshire and South Buckinghamshire.
He said the pigs are all produced locally by named farmers who work to the highest animal welfare standards.
At the moment, the organisation, which has received marketing grants from the British Pig Executive and DEFRA, is selling 50 pigs a week through selected butchers.
Orpwood said local sourcing provides a real opportunity for farmers: “The general consensus
is that local produce is a niche market, but I don’t believe that.
“In Oxfordshire alone we produce more than enough food to feed the entire county, but we need to market what we’ve got better.
“I think that unless we differentiate British product we’re going to see a decline in British agriculture.”
Orpwood said he conducted 12 independently run focus groups which established that consumers want locally produced, high quality food which comes from a traceable source. “Traceability is a buzz word with consumers now and the findings are reinforced by the Food and Farming Commission report that said local food sourcing is now a major lifestyle requirement of discerning consumers.”
The produce is being supported with point-of-sale material to be displayed in butchers and leaflets which contain information on the company and the concept as well as recipe suggestions.
Orpwood said he was keen to expand to other areas as well as into other species.
“We want to use this area as a benchmark and grow from there. We’re also looking into expanding the range to beef and lamb.”