Ireland’s home of Velvet Pork, Andarl Farm in County Mayo, has been awarded the highest international accolade in farm animal welfare, crediting owners Dave and Diana Milestone for their commitment to ethical farming practices.
Compassion in World Farming awarded Andarl Farm with the prestigious Good Pig Award 2017 for meeting welfare criteria for both sows and meat pigs, including no confinement during lactation or the dry period, no tail docking, teeth clipping or surgical castration, and for the provision of manipulable material and bedding throughout life.
Andarl Farm is only the second Irish producer in history to receive the Good Pig Award.
The European Union is the world’s second largest producer of sows and meat pigs, slaughtering nearly 240 million pigs each year. While the EU implemented minimum standards for the protection of pigs in January 2013, widespread enforcement is limited.
Dave and Diana Milestone said their journey began in 2012 with a vision to achieve a high standard of husbandry and pork production that would set a quality standard for free range pig farmers in Ireland.
“We considered a range of international standards and found that the welfare criteria developed by Compassion in World Farming were consistent with what we believe in, while being realistic and genuinely in touch with what the pigs need,” they said.
“For the last two years we have produced a very high standard of meat and product consistency in alignment with these guidelines and achieved a totally different production method from run-of-the-mill pork.
“Our story proves a sustainable business can be built on higher welfare farming and recognition of our work through the Good Pig Award helps bring us a step closer to working with other free range pig producers and setting a workable national standard.”
Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming said: "Standard pig production often fails to meet the welfare needs of sows and meat pigs, so it’s great to see companies like Andarl Farm putting animal welfare at the heart of their business. Providing farm animals with a good quality of life is essential and something that can be achieved by companies of all sizes. We congratulate Andarl Farm on their Good Pig Award and hope other like minded companies follow their lead.”
Andarl Farm is celebrated for achieving the perfect pork fat to lean ratio - a combination of breeding and a fresh, healthy and active outdoor lifestyle that is reflected in the taste and texture of the meat.
Described in John and Sally McKenna’s Guide as velvety: tender, sweet, subtle and disarmingly delicious Andarl Farm’s Velvet Pork is a moist, flavoursome and firmer meat appreciated by foodies and chefs alike for its unique taste and consistency.
Andarl Farm is featured for the second year running in the 2017 McKenna’s Guide and was awarded the prestigious Euro-toques EirGrid Food Award in 2016 in recognition of excellent quality standards, traditional artisan production methods and an outstanding contribution to Irish food.
LaRousse Foods works closely with Andarl Farm to distribute its signature Velvet Pork and bacon products to Ireland’s top hotels and restaurants including Ashford Castle, The Lodge at Ashford Castle and Belleek Castle.
Colum Lanigan Ryan, Food Director at LaRousse Foods said, “Great Chefs need access to great producers, and great product can only be produced with meticulous attention to detail from start to finish. We recognised that both Dave and Diana at Andarl Farm have this in abundance resulting in an end product that La Rousse Foods is proud to supply to any discerning chef.”
Andarl Farm Velvet Pork and bacon products can be purchased online at www.andarlfarm.ie, in the dedicated farm shop in Glenamaddy, Co Galway and from selected artisan butchers. Hotels and restaurants can order online via the La Rousse Foods online ordering system.
For more information please contact:
Andarl Farm, Claremorris, Co Mayo, Ireland
Dave Milestone +353 (0) 87 782 5751
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Andarl Farm: www.andarlfarm.ie
Compassion in World Farming: www.compassioninfoodbusiness.com
La Rousse Foods: www.laroussefoods.ie
John and Sally McKennas’ Guides: http://guides.ie/recommendations/andarl-farm-pork
Euro-toques Ireland: http://www.euro-toques.ie