Waitrose Wins Award for Rare Breed Product

Three years of hard work paid off for Dalehead Foods, Waitrose and BQP farmer George Gittus recently when their Waitrose Berkshire Free Range Pork Rack won a prestigious 'Q' Award.

The Quality Food & Drink Awards are widely acknowledged as being the most coveted in the industry and are judged by a panel of 50 experts that include food development specialists, nutritionists, home economists, chefs, restaurateurs and journalists who look to recognise excellence in the food retail industry.

BQP's Divisional Director Andrew Saunders said: "We work in partnership with Waitrose to deliver quality, innovative products and we are immensely proud of the work that we have done with George to reintroduce a traditional pig breed like the Berkshire into the UK for the enjoyment of Waitrose customers. Winning the 'Q' Award is the real icing on the cake."

Jane Clarke, Waitrose Senior Meat Buyer, said: "We are delighted with the recognition this award brings to the long term relationship Waitrose has with BQP, its farmers and Dalehead to deliver outstanding quality meats. This award, and our strong sales on the Berkshire Pork, shows how a close working supply chain can deliver true benefits to customers, farmers and retailers.

BQP started looking to introduce a new breed to improve and expand the Waitrose Pork Selection in 2004 and, after extensive research, chose the Berkshire breed for its well marbled traditional meat that delivers on both tenderness and succulence.

After a successful trial, free range farmer George Gittus switched his sireline from Hampshires to Berkshires, and from a small nucleus herd of pure line pigs he now produces 200 Berkshire sired pigs on a weekly basis.

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