We realized early on that if we want to create value for our clients, we must transcend marketing stories, practice truly sustainable agriculture and provide our clients with exquisite, unique products.
Regenerative or sustainable farmers make the following claims:
Economic impact: we produce high quality, exquisite products for a niche market. Clients pay a fair price. The value proposition must be balanced. Clients do not pay for our inefficiencies. Money flows into our community.
Environmental impact: efficient production minimizes waste and we maximize recycled inputs. Local production and sales means les pollution. We detail a agro-environmental plan for manure management.
Animal welfare impact: animals can express their natural behaviors. They have lots of space and live in a fitting environment.
Impact on climate change: more carbon sequestration because of intensively rotated pastures.
Social impact: no hidden costs that have to be carried by society or future generations. Honest relationships with suppliers and employees. Family farm.
Impact on consumer health: more omega-3, more CLAs. No antibiotics. No hormones. No synthetic pesticides. (We use some organic bio-pesticides on our veggies.)
Pastured Berkshire pork
Pastured pork is said to be healthier, tastier and better for the environment.
We raise two non-commercial breeds that are known to be of very high eating quality: Berkshire and Mangalitsa. These are slower growing, moderately prolific breeds known for their marbling and the pH and juiciness of their meat.
In season, our pigs have continuous access to grassy pastures, but they can also choose to stay indoors on deep bedding. Indoors, they have 2-4 times more space than on organic farms. We regularly give them toys (such as evergreen treetops). There is no doubt that pigs are happier if they can express their natural behavior, such as rooting.
Most importantly, our pigs are raised in an environment that complies with the best of Humane Certified/organic standards from the day they are born.
Obviously, we raise pigs without hormones, antibiotics or industrial by-products according to recipes that are formulated by professional animal nutritionists, again from the day they are born.
We are currently phasing out the use of GMOs on the Ferme d’ORée, a process that should be completed well before 2021.
We do all we can to maintain our exemplary health status (we are free of all major diseases) and to reduce morbidity and mortality.
We work with exceptional genetics. This implies DNA testing to match the best boar with every sow, so that we get a consistent high-quality product.
So, if you are wondering why our pigs are a little more expensive than conventionally raised pigs, or pastured pigs from seasonal producers, consider that our pigs live in humane conditions all their lives and that the breeds we use are tastier, but much less prolific than conventional breeds. This quadruples the cost of a piglet!
We sell about 600 Berkshires per year, mostly to specialized butcher shops and directly to the consumer through our website.