Free Range versus Free Farmed

awoftam, Aug 7, 6:36am
I found out on the weekend when talking to a free range pig farmer that free range and free farmed are not the same thing. Maybe I should have known this however I was shocked, as I had understood when buying free farmed bacon etc that the 'no crates, no stalls, no pens - farmed the freedom way by Freedom Farms' meant it was free range. Silly me. I feel slightly ripped off and very annoyed as the marketing is an obvious attempt at deception. IMO

buzzy110, Aug 7, 10:44am
Gotta say I am also feeling like you. I don't actually buy Freedom Farm products though so I'm not as mad.

The difference, for anyone who is interested is:

Free range - outside and roaming in paddocks, etc
Free farmed - Inside a barn but not caged or restricted

I knew that barn raised chickens/eggs was always a marketing con but I never knew that it was the same with Freedom Farms.

awoftam, Aug 7, 8:45pm
With free farmed the sows are outside, however the piglets are removed at about 4 weeks old and put in barns. I would imagine as they grow their movement become very restricted.

It's not just FF either; other companies are doing a similar thing. It's very misleading.

Anyhow I now know and the guy I was talking to at the Tga Farmers Market delivers his pork products so I can get them and will buy his products from now on.

muffin2, Aug 8, 3:19am
do you have a link to that?
we buy freedom farms bacon / ham and I believed they were free range
very disappointed if it's not

awoftam, Aug 8, 6:14am
A link to what? I took the quotes I used off their packaging as I have some bacon in the fridge. I have read their website and it never uses the words 'free range'. Very clever.

To be fair their pigs would have a far better life than those penned or caged. I just find the advertising misleading, as most of the public would I believe, read their blurb and see the piccy of mama pig and baby pig outside and think 'free range' as opposed to free farmed (and not actually know the difference, like me - and you).

I am going to ask them what the difference is between free farmed and free range and see what they say - I will post the answer.

davidt4, Aug 8, 6:37am
Which pork producer is that? I love Soggy Bottom pork but I didn't think they delivered. I'd love to find a source of properly free range pork

awoftam, Aug 8, 7:22am
Not as comprehensive or sophisticated as Soggy Bottom however the business is far younger:

davidt4, Jan 9, 6:11am
Thanks. I was taken through an abandoned piggery the other day and it was horrible, like a small concentration camp complete with sow crates and individual pig cells. I never knowingly eat non-free farmed pork anyway, but the experience made me even more bent on finding proper free range pork.