I tend to avoid blogging topics that leave me feeling like giving up farming!!! However this time I couldn’t help but squeal!!
During the two local agricultural shows I was frequently asked why there was a shortage of Manx Pork and why the shops had to import it!!!!!
I was also asked by the chef who did the demonstrations at the Royal Show why he couldn’t get any Manx Pork for his cookery demo from IOM Meats? If they had picked up the phone and asked, I am sure that I could have supplied them with some, I have a shed full at Ballakelly Farm (for the right price).
Then the straw that broke the pigs back was talking to a fellow 100% manx meat seller, they also had been told that they could not purchase Manx Pork as there was a shortage, this too would have been something we would have been happy to assist with had we been asked.
I think it would suit some meat suppliers if there was no Manx Pork, so it became like chicken and the public accepted there was none, and it was shipped in. Already there is lots of pork shipped in very cheaply, giving the suppliers very good profit margins, often manx pork is used to make the imported products seem really cheap.
One point I would like to make is that as the largest pig producer on the island it always amazing me how much Manx pork is sold via various outlets throughout the island, when we know how much has been produced!
For you the public it is in your benefit to be able to purchase Manx Pork. It would be a very sad situation to get to for the IOM, to have no Manx Pork. For Ballakelly we cannot continue to produce commercial pork in the current environment. My recent business plan showed me I need to get out of commercial pork and I should have given up producing pork for other people about 5 years ago when some producers were paid to reduce production! Yep you read that correctly.
The simple answer, to why I don’t produce lots of commercial Manx Pork is, it is costing me (the farmer) money to produce it, so I am subsiding other business to make a profit from my product. However, if I sell my pork via Ballakelly Farm shop then I do make a FAIR profit. FAIR being the important word, for too long I have worked weekends so other people can have them off. Would you work 70 hours weeks for nothing, actually I often pay to work so it is worse than nothing? Well, I got fed up so this is how the Ballakelly Farm story began.
Feed prices are set to soar this winter so as you are aware farmers are about to feel the pinch, but especially pig farmers. This is because pigs eat a lot of food. We are desperately trying to work out our business plan for the winter.
The saddest thing about all of this is that Manx Pork is the best in the world. I am very proud about the product and you should be too. As soon as people taste it, they comment on how it tastes like pork used to taste:
“Attractive looking rashers with a good ratio of fat to meat. It has a lovely delicate cure, and the fat has been nicely rendered. The meat is sweet and succulent and tastes of pork. Well done.”
“Old fashioned looking rashers of streaky with everything going for it on appearance. A great layer of fat, good thick cut, an honest and clean taste of pork – nicely piggy at the end with clean fat.”
“A good sized chop, well textured meat with plenty of fat, an excellent flavour that stays in the mouth. A good example of a classic pork chop.”
“Meaty, juicy and perfectly pig! A giant of a pork chop with decent fat, immense flavour, great caramelisation – utterly delicious. Just how a pork chop SHOULD be! It tastes of outdoor and pasture. A darker meat, the collagen as dissolved. This is a well fed, well looked after pig. Outstanding”
“If this is for a poor man – I’d like to come back as one! The pork is bold on the palate, an old fashioned roast pork flavour which is long lasting. Succulent, tender and juicy – we feel this is luxurious, not poor man’s food!”
“Impressive looking middle cut of thick bacon. Good ratio between the fat and meat. Sweet melt in the mouth fat with a good balance between sweet and salt in the cure, back end of the bacon has a good moist texture, it was thoroughly enjoyed. Good to see the traditional middle cut. ”
The nicest part for me reading the taste awards, was when they complimented the farmer for rearing a lovely animal.
There could be plenty of Manx Pork if the producer got paid to produce them.
I hope in the future you will be able to purchase ‘Real’ Manx Pork from all your local shops and cafes, but this will not happen until we get FAIR TRADE!
Currently, if you would like some Manx Pork please contact us or visit the online shop and we will sort you out!!