ENTREPRENEUR AND FREE RANGE FARMER BRINGS FREE-RANGE PIGS TO MARKET
After a long involvement in the wholesale meat industry and coming from a farming background Marty Leacy launched Pigs Run Wild, a variety of Seriously free-range fresh pork products and European style smallgoods that are free of chemical nitrates, preservatives and any additives.
Heeding the call from the industry for trusted, free-range pork, natural nitrate free smallgoods, bacon and ham he began the quest to introduce the in-demand smallgoods to high-quality cafes, restaurants, delicatessens and best practice butchers.
This ‘little pig went to market story’ started fairly innocently when we went shopping for free-range bacon and couldn’t find any. So we thought why was it so difficult to find free-range bacon and pork goods so together we put it down to Australian farmers not being able to find reliable distribution channels.
So we went to work and teamed up with farmers across the country and created a Free Range Farming network. As they say, the rest is history as we had just found the solution that not only brings free-range, all-natural pork products to consumers, but a solution that helps Aussie farmers, and keeps them in business.
Pigs Run Wild’s pork products are manufacturing an array of European-style, chemical nitrate-free smallgoods including salami, prosciutto, chorizo, wood-smoked ham & bacon that we can now enjoy with our favourite meal of bacon and eggs.
This is a win-win situation. The farmers are happy, the customers are happy and it means more little pigs can grow up in a seriously free-range environment.
Recognising that consumers are now, more than ever, making purchasing decisions based on ethical farming conditions, we have now joined forces with farms across Australia, ensuring a true, Seriously free-range environment for the pigs.
As a free-range farmer myself, my ethos is to hold up to the values of what truly, free-range is, working with Australian farmers to make sure the pigs are raised in the best environment possible, having plenty of land to roam and being honest and transparent in our packaging and labelling.
Meet Our Team
Hi Eliza, so tell us what you’re role is with Pigs Run Wild ….
My role with Pigs Run Wild encapsulates the entire business from paddock to plate, or farm gate to restaurant. Though specifically, I am the Farmer Consultant. I am working with new farmers to get set up, working with established farmers to continually improve practices for ease and efficiency and maintaining that relationship. So the farmers can see where their produce is going and what its being served with, and vise versa, the consumer knows where their meat and small goods have been raised.
And what were you doing before you joined Pigs Run Wild?
I grew up on a sheep and cropping property in WA, I’ve worked on cotton farms to cattle stations and have a Bachelor of Rural Science. Since moving to the Northern Rivers, I have also been establishing a Hobby Farmer Consulting business called HobFarm.
What is it you love most about the business Pigs Run Wild?
My favourite part is the ethos. Not only does Pigs Run Wild seek out the best small goods producers in the country, they also make sure that the amazing products are produced with the most well looked after animals around. These pigs really do run free; born and raised on pastures and handled with the utmost respect and care by the farmers.
What is your favourite product of all the ones you’ve tried so far from PRW?
My favourite small good is the Chilli Fennel Cacciatori, and my favourite fresh cut is the neck – the scotch fillet.
Where do you see yourself in 2 years with Pigs Run Wild?
I see Pigs Run Wild growing from strength to strength, the quality product our farmers produce is second to none and I’d really love to be a part of the team that continually brings it out to the rest of the country.
Tell us something else about yourself Eliza!
I didn’t know at the time that my pig career would start so young, but on my first birthday my Auntie Ang gave me a piglet, and I named him Simon! We got him two sows to be friends with, but unfortunately they really were just friends!
Meet The Chefs
We chat to Daniel about his favourite things.... Daniel Clift is the Executive Chef at the Beef and Beach Balcony Restaurant in the bustling, beautiful beach town of Lennox Head, just a short 20 minutes drive south of Byron Bay. The Balcony Restaurant is located right...read more
We talk to Nathan from Three Weeds at Rozelle! Why did you become a chef?Nathan was fascinated by the works of a kitchen from a very early age. He remembers how much he, as a little boy, loved to hang around the kitchen watching mum cooking. She would lift him to...read more
We talk to Ben Armstrong, Executive Chef - Glass Dining & Lounge Bar About your career.I come from a strong restaurant background, my father was a very well known chef back in the 80's and 90's. I did my apprenticeship at Bathers Pavilion, probably the best...read more
Meet Our Farmers
Your name: Luke WinderAbout your Family: Wife, 2 children and 1 dogYour Business name: Tathra Place Free RangeQ1: What breed of pigs do you have, and where do they live?Saddleback and large whites. We, and our pigs, live in Taralga NSWQ2: How long have you been...read more
Piltons PantryAbout your Family:We are a young family of three Piltons, soon to be four. Scarlett (Mum), Mitchell (Dad) and Ella Pilton. We have a new addition to Piltons Pantry family due to arrive in September 2016.We wanted to find a way to involve our whole family...read more
Meet Our Stockists
Meet Dan's Deli!! Meet Dan of Dan’s Gourmet Deli! Nestled in the heart of the Northern Rivers, Dan brings the local community a wealth of knowledge and history about food and a smile every day of the week! Dan not only has a shopfront with Daley’s Butchers in the...
We talk to the brains behind Nicholson & Saville ...Q: How was the brainchild of Nicholson and Saville born? A: N&S was born from a love of good food. More than that, it’s about understanding the origins of our food. How food tastes better when grown...
Meet Our Pigs
Where do we start with Berkshires!? They have such a rich history, originating from England. Their taste, flavour and temperament tempted the Americans so, and over the past 100 years have had a bit of a bumpy ride in Australia; going extinct in the 1940’s only to be reintroduced some years later. This rare breed isn’t one to be reckoned with, despite its docile nature, the Berkshires are here to stay!
There are many reasons why free-range farmers and Pigs Run Wild choose this amazing black and white breed. The American Berkshire Association describe them as: deep sided with a strong uniform back, strong muscular build with a short neck and erect medium sized ears. In other words they have great weight distribution and are cute as! Not only are Berkshire’s wonderful mothers with high milk production, they are made to be grown outdoors. In fact, while white breeds are bred to endure intensive indoor farming, likewise the Berkshire’s are not well suited to this environment, and that suits us fine! These animals are slow growers out in the pastures; it takes time to lay down the fat within and around the muscle to produce a superior product.
Contrary to commercial production, the Berkshire produces darker coloured meat with a high water holding capacity, great tenderness and ample intramuscular fat. This translates to tenderness and juiciness with overall foodie satisfaction. In fact, Berkshire meat is highly prized in Japan for these exact reasons; it is regarded as the highest quality pork in the world.
Before intensive farming grew at exponential rates last century, the Wessex Saddleback was most abundant. Originating from New Forest, Southern England, the Saddleback was a foraging breed for centuries, thriving on natural woodland pastures. However, its lack of adaptability to the intensive farming landscape resulted in its demise from once widespread farming. The Wessex Saddleback soon became extinct in its homeland, England. Fortunately, some pedigree animals were imported to Australia and New Zealand in the 1930’s. Today, there are now at least 9 registered pedigree herds in Australia, amounting to approximately 150 sows. The unremitting increase in intensive pig farming and continual importation of indoor and pen farmed pork has pushed this Rare Breed towards extinction.
The Wessex Saddleback is identifiable by its black coat and single white stripe across its shoulders, spanning right down each foreleg. This black coat protects the animal from sunburn. The floppy eared creature is well known for its docile temperament and exceptional mothering abilities. Mothers birth independently and will litter share (allow feeding of piglets not their own), the survival rate of Saddleback piglets is excellent. The Wessex Saddleback’s are hardy creatures most suited to foraging extensive free range systems, strongly complementing their grazing ability. Their nature and hardiness makes them suitable for novice and experienced farmers alike.
Contrary to commercial pig breeds, the Saddleback’s are slow growing and later maturing, the superior flavour reflects their natural supplemented diet. Originally bred for bacon, these white striped flavour buns suit the fresh pork trade equally. Chefs and patrons place the Wessex Saddleback tenderness and flavour above all.