100% free range
We believe in 100% free range pig farming. 100% free range means that pigs are free to live outside for their entire life. At Woody's Farm we believe that pigs should be treated humanely and allowed to live in their natural environment and exhibit their natural behaviours. That means outdoors, foraging, with plenty of room to move. Unfortunately only 1% of pig farms in New Zealand are 100% free range.
Pigs are intelligent and inquisitive animals, and we believe that free ranging pigs are happy pigs.
What about the rest?
20% of pig farms in New Zealand are free farmed. This means that the pigs grown for market are finished indoors.
20% of pigs farms are outdoor bred. This means the sows and piglets live outside. Once the piglets have been weaned they are moved inside to be grown for market.
35% of farmers in New Zealand raise their pigs indoors. Pregnant sows live in sow stalls. Birthing sows are then moved to farrowing crates.
Another 25% of farmers use farrowing crates but not sow stalls.
This information comes from the Pig Farming NZ website: http://www.pigfarminginnz.co.nz/farming-styles
Pig Welfare Standards
The NZ Pork Board introduced the PigCare accreditation programme to reassure consumers around the welfare of pigs, however SAFE New Zealand has found that some farms with the PigCare accreditation have questionable welfare standards for their pigs. You can read more here: http://safenewzealand.org/
In addition, the SPCA has introduced the Blue Tick animal welfare label, which is awarded only to farmers who do not use sow stalls or farrowing crates in their pork production. Farmers pay a fee for the initial audit plus ongoing royalties to the SPCA. Royalties are used to run, promote and grow the Blue Tick scheme.
At this stage, Woody's Farm has not yet applied for either of these programmes.
Where does your pork come from?
About 40% of the pork products in our supermarkets are not from New Zealand. New Zealand law does not require food manufacturers to identify the origin of the contents used in packaging their product comes in. This makes it difficult for you to know where your pork has come from, and more importantly how it was produced. We believe that 100% New Zealand grown free range pork producers, like Woody's Farm, deserve the benefit of Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling.
You can read more about it here: http://www.cool.org.nz
The NZ Pork Industry has introduced the 100% New Zealand PigCare Accredited label. This guarantees that the pig your pork came from was born and raised in New Zealand, however it cannot be relied upon to guarantee high welfare standards.