Producer of the Month: Louise Trowbridge, The Uncommon Pig, Dorset
The common verdict after tasting pork from the Uncommon Pig is the marvellous depth of flavour, the marbled texture of the meat and the fantastic crackling. When you consider the loving care bestowed on the pigs by Louise and her family, this comes as little surprise.
Louise and her husband Luke produce truly wonderful pork. They farm free range Berkshire pigs on their 300 acre dairy farm in Stour Provost, North Dorset. Despite having four children, the pigs are definitely the VIPigs of the family enterprise with their welfare being paramount. They are served top quality food, more often than not by the children, and they have more mud to roll in than they could ever wish for and some of Britain's best countryside to roam in. Even their short final journey is as stress-free as possible. Only the best for these Berkshires, who, as Royal favourites, are a prestigious breed noticeably defined by their black and white markings and placid natures.
The Trowbridge's dairy farm produces milk for the award-winning local cheese maker Barber's of Dicheat in Somerset. They decided to diversify into pigs 18 months ago, selling directly from the farm to customers. With a large family to feed herself, Louise is keen to offer affordable good quality food and dispel the myth that free range meat is overly expensive.
- Why do you do what you do?
We decided to farm pigs 18 months ago when we were trying to find another source of income from the farm. Pig seemed the perfect animal because they use less land than dairy cows and the whole family can be involved in rearing them, with the children feeding them for example. We started with four pigs. We were astonished at how amazing that first joint of pork was- it really was delicious. So we bought a sow that went on to have a litter and started to sell joints to local pubs. From then on we started selling to some butchers in London, restaurants, farm shops and quality local butchers.
- What achievement are you most proud of?
Winning best Dorset food product in Taste of Dorset 2012.
- What is your most memorable moment?
The first time I went to the abattoir. I had seen shocking online footage of animal cruelty and was worried that I wouldn't be able to cope. However, I was amazed and pleasantly surprised by how humane, hygienic and orderly the whole process is.
- If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you do to encourage more people to eat British food?
- What is your favourite food and why?
- What are your predictions for the future of British food?
- If you were an advertising executive what slogan would you use to promote British food?
- What's on the menu this evening?
- How can people get hold of your produce?