Scott Free Range Pig Farm, Downsview Farm, Cootham, West Sussex, Saturday 1st June 8.30am.
Meet up with our work gang from our 4 different departments, butchery, drivers, dispatch and the office team.
The weather was amazing. Nice early sunshine and everyone arrived on time, cool, calm and relaxed and it made a nice change to see everyone out of work mode.
On to the mini bus we went, 11 of us, with Neil our transport manager being our driver for the day – and quite rightly so :)
At 10am we arrived at our destination and were greeted by a rather smiley Richard Scott –of Scott Free Range Pig Farm.
The smell of the country air and the view of the South Downs were fabulous, particularly on a day like this. The land on which the pigs live was also big, really giving us the feeling that we were not going to be disappointed.
We gathered around Richard as he welcomed us all. Richard then filled us in with details of his upbringing and his passion for pig breeding. He was proud to announce that he is one of the few Free Range Pig farmers in the south. He has acres of land to raise his pigs and he has created a system that he pretty much manages himself and it successfully works.
Richard had worked extremely hard for a number of years to achieve this, he was once a lecturer and he had also worked in France as a pig breeder – this is where his love for pigs became apparent.
I totally believe that this reflects in the taste of our succulent pork that Richard of Scott’s Free Range provides.
Anyway I shall carry on – We all followed Richard in a line, a bit like a school trip really(although that was such a long time ago for most of us)
We started with the guilts and the boars which have been weaned off of their mothers after 4 weeks of suckling and are now starting to be independent and feed on grain for themselves. The grain had a nice fruity smell to it. They were cute, very happy and frisky and running around their paddock! They were also very inquisitive and wanted to come over and see what we were all doing on their farm!! If we moved slightly close to them, they would then all run away together.
We went to where the suckling pigs were – these are the little piglets that are still with their mothers (the sows) and are still feeding from her milk. The sows were massive, I guess it is to be expected as they generally have a litter of around 10-11 piglets, 2-3 times a year.
The next section was divided into 2 fields of guilt’s to whom had been served by a boar. The fields were split according to dates of when their litters were due.
The remaining parts of the fields were made up of pigs waiting to reach their correct weights before they go off to suppliers. You will see from the picture that in every stage of their process, each pig was happy, healthy and most importantly, free to roam large areas.
We were all so pleased to be reassured that the pork we supply is a Free Range Quality Assured pork, the pigs enjoy the fresh air, freedom and a natural additive free diet throughout their entire lives.
They are free to do what they do best – eat, sleep and dig!