Return of Pigs to Frome Market
When I joined Symonds & Sampson, I immediately pushed for the return of pigs to Frome market. I became the pig auctioneer in my previous firm as no one else wanted the job. However, I have always thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s not an easy job, mainly because when trade is good it’s great, but when it’s bad it really is bad. But who doesn’t love a challenge?
When I joined Symonds & Sampson, I immediately pushed for the return of pigs to Frome market. I became the pig auctioneer in my previous firm as no one else wanted the job. However, I have always thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s not an easy job, mainly because when trade is good it’s great, but when it’s bad it really is bad. But who doesn’t love a challenge? Needless to say, starting anything from scratch is no easy task, but it is especially tricky with the pig market, which is well known for its volatility. Cheap imports and increased feed costs have put more pressure on producers in the last few years and, therefore, an inordinate amount of time has to be spent sniffing out pigs to sell while finding enough buyers to have a decent trade. It’s a fine balancing act and a bit of a catch 22! However, support at Frome from both farmers and purchasers has been superb with more than 3,500 pigs sold in the first year. It is safe to say the section has been welcomed by all, with a number of new followers of the market.
So, who are the buyers? Generally, our buyers are local farmers, butchers or wholesale meat suppliers. Many of them would have bought back in 1997 at Sturminster Newton market and are still supporting us with their same famous buying style and techniques, although there might be a few more grey hairs. Britain’s farmers rely on people buying British, and this is exactly what Frome market supports, and what we hope to promote with pigs. By developing a thriving pig section, I hope to prove that Brits do it best, and the industry is fighting back. We want to show those who are going straight to slaughter that a better trade can be achieved once again at market. Back in the 1960s, Sturminster Newton market was seeing 40,000 pigs a year trotting through, and although we accept no such numbers will be seen again, we hope to see our numbers increase and maintain strong trade, week in and week out. The section not only relies on buyers and sellers, but also the great British public who often go straight for the cheapest rashers of bacon they can find for their Sunday sarnie, without thought for welfare or provenance.
Consumers need to be reminded of why they should back the nation’s farmers, with world-class welfare standards, minimal food miles and much reduced carbon footprint being just a few reasons. Buy British and bring home the bacon for UK farmers
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