Welsh farmer demonstrates large-scale pedigree pig production

The owner of Wales’ biggest herd of Pedigree Welsh Pigs sought to demonstrate that it is possible to survive as a large-scale, sustainable producer of the breed, at an open day on his Gower farm.

The average herd size of Pedigree Welsh Pigs is just 20, but Ken Austin’s Burry Herd is made up 1,200 animals. Austin wanted to promote the benefits of the breed at his open day, which apparently included prolific production, an ability to compete with hybrid breeds and, most importantly, succulent and tender meat.

Austin said: “There is definitely a demand for the Pedigree Welsh Pig out there. The current mind-set amongst farmers in Wales is that both demand and prices are too low. We need to convince them otherwise.”

After a decline in the sector in recent times, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) commissioned a review of the Welsh pork sector in 2013, identifying the ability to generate sufficient capacity to supply markets as a key challenge.

Siôn Aron Jones, industry development manager at HCC, said: “With clear direction and support, it is possible to make things work. Mr Austin has successfully converted his dairy farm in Reynoldston, Gower, and utilised the existing buildings to create facilities which produce consistently strong stock. He has shown that anything is possible.”

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