11 January 2009
Healthy, Happy Pigs
Healthy, happy pigs. Here at Orce Serrano Hams we choose our hams very carefully. This involves visiting pig farms to see how the pigs are raised - animal welfare is a top priority.
In Andalucia all of our suppliers pay their pigs extra special attention producing some prime hogs and in turn resulting in some exquisite cuts of pork. This month Jamie Oliver is on another campaign investigating how pigs are reared both in the UK and Europe.
"In a Channel 4 special this month, Oliver will investigate how pigs are reared in the UK and on the Continent, where factory farms supply cheaper meat to British supermarkets." - INDEPENDENT
Below: Typical rearing in the Granada region, plenty of room, no overcrowding.
Practices do differ between countries and there are many factors involved ie: in Spain we have a more favourable climate so outdoor rearing has always been the natural way of doing things. Iberian pigs of course have free reign over the acorn meadows in certain regions and could be regarded as "true" free range.
The issue of welfare, quality of product etc carries through to the secadero's (curing houses) with some of our suppliers being regularly "spot" inspected up to six times a year. A good thing as the exceptionally high standards are not allowed to fall, we have yet to meet a pig farmer or secadero owner who is not fiercely proud of his operation.