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NeathChris



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 1387
Location: Neath, South Wales
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 06 8:38 pm    Post subject: Feedback Wanted  Reply with quote    

Hi, i am seriously considering turning my pig hobbie into a business. I am in the process of planning etc now.
I will be breeding my own pedigree welsh pigs, rearing them outdoors in straw stuffed arks, with no growth promoters or antibiotics, and fed on good local feed. Traditionally reared pork!
The main aim is to sell the pork locally, as we are doing, with the aid of a website and web sales. All the pork would be at a price that everyone can aford as i belive we should all be able to have access to good,tasty locally produced food. Would people from further afield be interested in my product if it was available online with a courier deivery service?

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26640
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 06 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Frankly not as the "local" thing is pretty important to us.

RichardW



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 8433
Location: Llyn Peninsular North Wales
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 06 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Good luck. Our experiance is that unless its as cheap as in the shops it wont sell in any amounts large enough to sustain a breeding herd. If you can do it as cheap as the shops you cant be doing it right.

Do you plan on doing the butchery yourself? Check out courers as we cant get one to collect when asked (even with 3 days notice that we want a collection) or to deliver next day. Ok so we are a bit off the beaten track but not that far off. I guess if we had shipments going out every day it would be a diff matter.

Justme

Nanny



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 4520
Location: carms in wales
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 06 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i might well be as you are pretty local to us

the local organic food people are looking at offering traditional meat

don't know if they might be someone to contact ...

www.organicstogo.com

i am having my veg from them till i get my own stuff sorted.....

NeathChris



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 1387
Location: Neath, South Wales
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 06 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

As i say it is in early deelopment stages, may not even happen. We are 5 mins off the m4 so its ideal for transporting goods. It would not be a large herd, i aim to keep it smallish with a quality end product. I looked at some stats today regaring imported pig meat, 850,000 tonnes is mported each year, 2 thirds of which does not meet uk welfare standards, in effect this would probably dog food at most had it been reared in the uk. This really spurred me to think even more about further producing my own meat. I can trace every pig back 5 generations at least, it has been reared to highest welfare standards with a very good life. Interpretaions of local are different to every person, but if it were uk or regionally available, would people consider it more?

NeathChris



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 1387
Location: Neath, South Wales
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 06 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Forgot to mention on the organic, i have looked at and spoke to a few organic pig farmers. They tell me themselves its no diferent to a good outdoor herd and they say themselves they would reconider if given opportunity again as with rising feed costs they see there market narrowing as the end product price rises. But i am in favour o organic type rearing!

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 06 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob's meat seems to travel quite far afield.

Actually Chris I thought you were a small business.


I can buy pork like this locally so would only be interested if "someone was passing" if you see what I mean but surely you have quite a large population local to you.

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 06 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Have you though of getting into the value-added market of sausages and ham etc, as well as the meat Chris?

Our farmer is fattening up a piggy for us here on the farm, so we wouldn't be interested I'm afraid

NeathChris



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 1387
Location: Neath, South Wales
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 06 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

No the pigs are my hobby, i am very passionate about them, enjoy taking them to shows and seeing how they fair with others. I understand that most people here have access to their own or a neighbours pork but am after a general picture if you get what i mean? I am initially looking to use wales and west and border counties maybe as a market, these comments are really helpful, keep them coming please!

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 06 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'd think very hard about turning an enjoyable hobby into a business before taking any steps in that direction. You would think that going full time on your hobby, as a job, would give you more time, but that is not necessarily the case, and you may find you dislike jobs that you once enjoyed. I don't want to dampen any enthusiasm, but also don't want you to jump in & find you can't swim.

You have to be prepared to work relentlessly, for little money. You'll also need a fair bit of business knowledge, as so many people are going out of business in livestock farming, you have to be really something to keep your head above water & go on to prosper. Also, many concessions apply to 'hobby' keepers that are more stringent for 'businesses'.

What are you doing now (to earn a living)? How long have you been working on it as a hobby? Who/what have you got behind you i.e. capital, supportive family, knowledge, training/experience (the latter is much more important than the former)?

I think you would be better gradually building up your hobby until the point where you can make the leap to being in business without having a large gap between losing your income & the pigs being self-sustaining (the bit where you have naff all to live on until things get going).

A combination of factors caused me to convert to a business 3.5 years ago, but it started as a hobby in 1994 & has progressed gradually at first.

I can recommend a very good book to you (or anyone considering it)- "You Can Farm" by Joel Salatin (and no, I don't supply it, but it is available on Amazon).

NeathChris



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 1387
Location: Neath, South Wales
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 06 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think that is what i plan, to gradually part time build it up over the next year or so until it is providing properley for me, just a gradual transition is my plan. Cheers rob, thats what i ahve been thinking and now hearing it from someone already doing it makes it sound more senseible. I am to gradually build the herd slowly by an extra farrowing sow a month, hopefully all home bred, over the next year or 2. In 2 years time i may still wish to continue it as a hobby/part time bsiness, rather than full time. Gradual sounds best.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 06 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It is better to grow on your sucess than it is to set out trying to be 'sucessful' at something. You may find yourself still keeping pigs as a hobby in years to come, and doing something completely different as your own business, it all depends upon what opportunities develop throughout your life, and how you develop in yourself.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 06 10:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Feedback Wanted Reply with quote    

NeathChris wrote:
Would people from further afield be interested in my product if it was available online with a courier deivery service?


If the price is right for a bulk buy, then yeah, maybe. Bunched together with other nearby Downsizer members, that could be worthwhile. Not ideal for us (you're not that local!) but I think we'd look into it.

moonwind



Joined: 10 Sep 2006
Posts: 1140

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 06 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If all the pork from NeathChris is as good as the half we bought last week then none of you would be disappointed.

You could still have your website Chris, that'll be Winter rhan amser College course then

I think offering sausages and stuff would be good on a website and the selling point has got to be Outdoor traditionally reared.

We were never officially an organic holding, but the only fertiliser used on our land in ten years was calcified seaweed and that was only two applications.

You'll have to go to Newport and buy a fridge van then you could start doing a delivery service yourself, just work in the mileage (estimated) for your chosen delivery area, which will of course cover the Carmarthen area.

Research the area, I know there are quite a few folk who do sell pork round here, but yours was butchered very well which is something to bring to potential customers notice.

Have an ear to the floor to see who is selling what, and how much and to whom?

Week last Sunday there was a market lorry selling meat at Carmarthen Sunday Market, on the side of the lorry was some address in West Midlands!!

Heaven knows where the meat on that had come from but it seemed awfully cheap, too cheap if you know what I mean.


Anyway good luck whatever you decide. I think Rob's is sound build it up gradually and let the wind find its own destiny.

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19023
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 06 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Have a look at the sausages in your local famers market type outlet. They retail at about 9 or 10/kg for free range/organic/traditional breeds. Basically double the retail price of the meat for a day's work. Even if it's an extension of your hobby it can provide a cash boost everynow and then.

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