What effect do different diets have on pork quality?

Kyle and Lauren Holford of Forest Coalpit Farm.
(Photo: Richard Stanton)

Since the Covid 19 pandemic began there has been an increase in farmers selling produce direct to the consumer. It’is important that the quality of the product sold is of the highest standard, and with this in mind, Menter Moch Cymru and Farming Connect have been working with Forest Coalpit Farm on a project to address the increasing desire towards more sustainable production methods.

The project has been analysing and comparing pork quality from two treatment groups: one group reared on a combination of forage and concentrates and the other on concentrates only.

The results of the project gathered following the assessments carried out by the Food Technology Centre will be discussed by Caroline Mitchell from FQM Global in a special webinar held by Menter Moch Cymru and Farming Connect on November 18th at 7pm.

Melanie Cargill, Menter Moch Cymru Project Manager said: “The webinar will be an exciting opportunity to look at the effects that different diets can have on the quality of pork and could add value to the product.”

The quality of pork is very important to Kyle Holford and Lauren Smith of Forest Coalpit Farm, who run their own 20-sow, farrow-to-finish herd of their own breed of Welsh Black (Large Black X Duroc) pigs on pasture and woodlands on their farm in the Brecon Beacons.

They butcher and sell their produce directly to customers in pork boxes and also supply award-winning restaurants and butchers.

However, since the Covid 19 pandemic began, their pork has mainly sold via boxes and butchers.

Kyle Holford said: “I often sit eating some of our pork pondering why it tastes so great. Obviously, it’s a variety of factors: breed, free-range, management and diet. I wanted to do this project in order to find out what role forage had on flavour and quantify the benefits it brings.

“Our main focus was on analysing the fats, as this is where the difference shows up on other species. As well as this, we weighed the pigs throughout to see if forage brings any production benefits as well. From this project we hope to learn the value of forage in an outdoor pig operation, whether it’s from a production benefit, taste or for carbon sequestration and environmental benefits,” he added.

This project looks to address the increased desire from consumers to see quality and traceability in their produce.

Dafydd Owen, Pig Technical Officer for Farming Connect said: “Attending the webinar is a great opportunity to hear about the ground-breaking project taking place at Forest Coalpit. It’s also a good opportunity to find out more about the system that Kyle and Lauren run and to ask any questions you may have.”

The webinar will be held on November the 18th at 7pm

For more information visit the Menter Moch Cymru website at mentermochcymru.co.uk 

To take part in the webinar, you must register your interest by 3pm on 18/11/2021. Email  dafydd.owen@menterabusnes.co.uk


Menter Moch Cymru is funded by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

2 issues for £9!

Subscribe to The Smallholder magazine and receive your first 2 issues for just £9!