What brands of bacon are free range?

Anyone know.

Chef_white_elephant, Jul 8, 5:00 pm

Nope. google it

Chef_rainrain1, Jul 8, 5:12 pm

Freedom Farms, is Free Range, and Hellers have a range that is. (in a green pack)

Chef_lidbud, Jul 8, 5:30 pm


Chef_holly-rocks, Jul 8, 6:21 pm

So that means that 'Beehive' my favourite brand is free range, looks like I can go back to my fortnightly treat!

Chef_white_elephant, Jul 8, 6:28 pm

Island Bay Butchery in Island Bay and Strathmore Wellington

Chef_petal1955, Jul 8, 6:33 pm

Were you watching that dreadful programme last night of the disgusting treatment of caged pigs. If you were I can understand why you would want to go free range. It was the animal cruelty that got to me. Just revolting

Chef_martine5, Jul 8, 7:21 pm

I have been put off bacon since I saw the first program on pig farming several months ago so I couldn't bring myself to watch all of the program the other night. The cruelty in this day and age is hard to believe, especially in NZ. Also the chemicals added to make bacon is a worry too, just wish I didn't like the taste so much.

Chef_white_elephant, Jul 9, 6:17 am

Is it really?

Chef_chris313, Jul 9, 7:12 am

I think it comes from freedom farms. I'm going to ring around a few places today and find out more. It matters to me how the pig I eat lived and died. In saying this I am planning on eating less pig meat with the hope of giving up completely.

Chef_white_elephant, Jul 9, 7:25 am

There's a difference between Freedom Farms (a free-range brand with quite a bright cheery label) and free-farmed pork - that might trip some people up. Free-farming is touted by the pork industry as ethical but if it was truly free-range they'd call it free-range. I think they're trying to cash in on a potentially lucrative market while not having to make significant changes to the farms and output.

When I asked someone once they said that in free-farming they don't use sow crates and there is more room for the pigs to move, but I'm not anywhere near convinced that it's ethical enough for me. I vote with my wallet and only buy actual free-range pork - in practical terms, Freedom Farms are the suppliers in most of the supermarkets I go to.

You might find that Beehive is free-farmed rather than free-range.

Chef_drommy, Jul 9, 7:32 am

I feel similar - but I have a little strategy that maybe could go viral? When I go to a cafe or restaurant, I ask if ALL their pork and poultry products are free farmed. If they say "no" I take a month of Sundays making up my mind what vegetarian or vegan foods I might eat and possibly enjoy. Or, I take a walk and find another cafe. If you choose to do it, make sure there are plenty of other customers around. There are so many people out there who see and detest what happens to chickens and pigs, the more pressure we can apply, the more likely that these terrible practices will cease.

Chef_chris313, Jul 9, 7:36 am

Mahy Farms, but I'm having problems getting it lately. Hendersonville do a free range one too.

Chef_bedazzledjewels, Jul 9, 8:40 am

Beehive isn't even New Zealand sourced pork, it is imported from who knows where. They manufacture Freedom Farms bacon desperately otherwise the packing would be the same. Their website mentions they source NZ honey several times (for the bacon cure) so you would think they'd mention the bacon is made from NZ product if it was.

Freedom farms don't raise their pigs outdoors in paddocks, it clearly says the pigs are weaned from 'mum' and put in shelters. That's is the definition of free farmed, born outside, no stalls or crates. The sows live outside permanently but their pigs are only outside for the first 4 weeks. Try APCA Blue tick for assurance.

Chef_wicked_garden, Jul 9, 9:00 am

Typo at #13. Should read Hendersons free range.

Chef_bedazzledjewels, Jul 9, 10:02 am

Thanks for that information. I'll definitely be looking for the APCA Blue tick in future when I cannot get to farmer's markets.

The Farm Gate - http://www.thefarmgate.co.nz/ and Soggy Bottom - http://www.soggybottom.co.nz/

are both free range farms selling quality meats, including traditionally cure bacon.

Chef_buzzy110, Jul 9, 10:55 am

Also look for nitrate free.

Chef_arielbooks, Jul 9, 11:26 am

Oh! I saw the Soggy Bottom Stall on Sunday at the farmers market! We are having a mid winter Xmas very soon and I always pass on the ham though if I can get it from SB I will be highly delighted. Thanks for the info.

Chef_chris313, Jul 9, 11:29 am

That's the SPCA tick referred to above, and Freedom Farms has that tick.
Here's their FAQ page -

Chef_bedazzledjewels, Jul 9, 11:34 am

I don't think he'll have hams at this time of the year unless you order one. I love SB as well but I think that The Farm Gate does a better ham, basically because theirs are already cooked.

Chef_buzzy110, Jul 9, 11:41 am

Thanks for the correction BJ. I didn't know what APCA was.

Chef_buzzy110, Jul 9, 12:51 pm

Free farmed product is the term used when sows are bred an fed outdoors.At farrowing the sows are housed in farrowing arcs where the piglets are born. .Here they are reared in this environment for the first four weeks of their life at which stage they are weaned and transferred to grown to bacon weight in barns indoors.These are the pigs that are used to make bacon.
Remember too that a huge amount of pork is imported and made into bacon so it could well be that the only NZ ingredient is the salt

Chef_porka1, Jul 9, 1:06 pm

What annoys me is the Farm depicted on the Telly the other night was an abomination but it in no way reflects actual practice in NZ pig farms. A well run factory farm is nothing like that in reality and while not ideal it is the only way you are going to have affordable pork chicken and eggs for the ordinary person in the street.

I am old enough to remember the end of the days before factory farmed chickens when Chicken was a once or twice a year luxury. Unless you grew them yourselves.

Chef_beaker59, Jul 9, 2:20 pm

I have just bought Freedom farms rindless eye bacon, locally farmed, no cages, crates or pens. Approved by the SPCA. On special from Countdown $9.50 for 250grms, not cheap but obviously worth it.

Chef_white_elephant, Jul 9, 4:42 pm

Yes when chicken was an end of lay hen about 18 months old.
Northland Free range pork advertised on a website at 43 dollars a kilo for chops.Definitely a niche market.

Chef_porka1, Jul 9, 5:10 pm

I remember those days. My childhood diet was rabbit, past laying hen, when Dad could catch them and mutton from the neighbours. It seems now that one bad egg makes the news, and so many believe all are like that.

Chef_kay141, Jul 9, 5:41 pm


Chef_bev00, Jul 9, 9:49 pm

Thing is, the factory farms may not all be like that, but how is one to tell from a package which farms the meat is sourced from? They could have some horrendous suppliers as well as good ones.

I've gone completely off red meat lately, never liked pork much. But the thing is, when you want/need meat, you want/need meat, and not everyone can afford free range meat as the holier-than-thou free range producers can charge an arm and a leg for it. Getting rid of factory farming in NZ isn't going to change much, the crap stuff will just get crappier and imported, which takes jobs and money from NZ.

Chef_fizzy_kiwi, Jul 9, 10:54 pm

You are right, but I'm working on paying extra for free range and eating way less. Bacon will now be a monthly treat for me, better for my health and pocket.

Chef_white_elephant, Jul 10, 6:39 am

Buying good meat well farmed is becoming more important to me. I buy pork often from Freedom and Havoc (who featured on episode 1 of the Topp twins new show). I buy beef from Colin at Lake Farm Beef who won this years Steak of Origin competition. Link below. Lamb I haven't sourced yet although Marama Organics supplies Silver Fern label available at Countdown.

Chef_bedazzledjewels, Jul 10, 8:29 am

I look for bacon that us from pigs raised in NZ. From what I've seen only Freedom Farms says that their pigs are grown here. Most brands say from local and imported ingredients - which could include the pork coming from who knows where. One brand says the pork is from - Denmark I think. Would like to know what other brands are farmed here.

Chef_tessie2, Jul 10, 9:20 pm

Beehive is NOT free range. Free range and cage free bacon is very clearly marked on the packet.

Chef_awoftam, Jul 10, 9:25 pm

Hellers free farmed is NZ pork and not as expensive as Freedom Farms. A far bigger operation of course - FF raise their own pigs, I think.

Chef_awoftam, Jul 10, 9:26 pm

If bacon isn't marked free range I think you can assume it isn't free range. Free range sells at a premium price because it is more expensive to produce. If they go to trouble and expense of raising free range pigs then they are going to make it very clear on the packet.

Chef_gerbil, Mar 18, 11:16 pm

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