Shoppers throughout Wales are being given a chance to win a hog roast in an innovative new marketing push by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales in which people will be asked to think how far away their pork has been produced from their fork.
The theme of the campaign is ‘Porximity’ and has been designed to highlight how many dedicated, specialist pork producers there are in Wales.
The initiative will build on the momentum gathered by the Welsh pork industry since the launch of the Porc.Wales website and directory last year.
By searching for their closest pork producer on the Porc.Wales website and sharing it on Twitter, people have a chance to win a full hog roast for any event of their choice – a wedding, a birthday or a community celebration.
“The pork industry in Wales is dominated by small-scale, artisan producers, who are dedicated to rearing the very best pork,” says Melanie Cargill, HCC’s market development officer.
“Since we launched the website last year, the Welsh pork industry has risen in prominence with people increasingly eager to eat food that has been produced locally.
“This competition and online marketing drive is a chance to bring producers and consumers together and share the passion that pork farmers and butchers have for top-quality, sustainable food.”
Sharon Jones is one small-scale producer showcased on the website and until seven years ago had never set foot on a farm.
“I was a city girl at heart and worked in a solicitor’s office, but married a farmer,” says Sharon, of Moch Llyn, based between Abersoch and Aberdaron.
“After having my first little girl we wanted to find a way for me to stay at home and I suggested I should get some pigs and give farming a go.
“I started out with three or four pigs a month, but now it is up to 20-24 Welsh pure-bred and Hampshires.”
In South Wales, Ty Siriol, at Pontarddulais, near Swansea, is another smallholding showcased on the Porc.Wales website.
“Our philosophy is to keep it simple and you will see this reflected in everything we do,” says Suzy Williams.
“What started off as a hobby for me and my husband Martyn has turned into a real passion for discovering the source of great tasting pork.”
The smallholding is now a 2ha (5 acres) plot with 50 purebred pedigree Welsh pigs and continues to grow.
Working with the distinctive environment is said to be the key to the quality of the produce.
“We understand the effect our unique climate and landscape in Wales can have on the quality of our meat and so we move our pigs inside during the winter months to limit the fat on the end product,” says Suzy.
“Every one of our pigs lives a relaxed and happy life and this ultimately leads to tastier pork.
"From keeping our pigs in their sibling groups to using a nearby abattoir, our pigs are moved as little as possible to reduce stress to an absolute minimum."