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Author Topic: Selling pork  (Read 9908 times)

Mrs Snoodles

  • Joined Aug 2012
Selling pork
« on: September 25, 2012, 06:47:19 pm »
something on another thread got me thinking....I'm wondering what everyone does to sell their pork and wondered if we could share ideas.  My selling has always been word of mouth but I hope to have about 100 pigs a year so I am upping the ante a bit.

Anybody keen? Happy to start.......

1. As soon as Ive got weaners or piglets I know when roughly they are going to be ready.  (leave aside any pedigree stock worth selling on). I start talking to people.  Up until now my local villagers have been my customers but with more pigs to handle (hopefully) I am planning on a banner outside my home, usual business cards to hand out, label on my car (window job) and a free facebook page to back it up.
2.  I will be taking orders using an invoice book (detailing specific requests such as large joints, more chops, keep the hand etc etc, so that nobody can go back on their word or think they asked for something different), and a deposit (I'm thinking 30). Selling halves.
3.  Slaughter day is a Monday, pick up on the Thursday from my home.

I will offer sausages as an extra per order, and pass on butchers cost only.   I can offer bacon and gammon to, and have done in the past however I find that this complicates matters quite a lot.  Aside from people not really knowing what they want done with their halves, they forget and then get sticky on the additional price. In addition I have to make an extra trip to pick stuff up.

That's my lot then.  I try to aim to keep it simple and use up as less time of mine as possible.  My main problem has actually been with good friends not paying up on time. It sucks.

I think the key is too let people know in good time when you will have halves. Not everyone has space in their freezers at the drop of a hat......   

« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 06:53:25 pm by Mrs Snoodles »


  • Guest
Re: Selling pork
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2012, 07:19:05 pm »
All good ideas Mrs S  :thumbsup:

Free websites (I've used webs and weebly - both good and easy to use) are another great way of getting noticed and it's always worth enquiring if local shops would be interested in trying say, sausages to start ? Posters alongside these to give a bit more info or a well designed label with all your details and key points  ;)

Local B&B's, hotels & resturants too - always worth asking around, especially playing on the 'local' aspect - low food miles, supporting local business etc ;)

Check around your area for farmers/producers markets - your local community council should have information about this and your local council may even have details of schemes and inititives, even supposing you don't want to go down that road - it's always worth asking, making sure they know who you are, what you do and where you do it - it's all 'exposure'  ;)

Good luck and keep us posted  :wave:


  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Selling pork
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2012, 07:55:34 pm »
True, you have to go out and market your produce. I have a very few pigs a year compared to you but have a restaurant who will take all my surplus pork. I had to 'phone around local restaurants. Some were already fixed with meat, some weren't really interested and one or two were downright rude over prices. You have to ignore all this and keep looking. Good luck :) :fc:


  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Cambridgeshire
    • Hempsals Community Farm
Re: Selling pork
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2012, 09:50:17 pm »
We're a community farm so members pay a monthly sub in return for a share of the farm produce. This means I get paid regularly to cover feed as we go along and know exactly how many pigs etc to produce at the start of the year. This year we sold 16 shares and did 16 pigs for members. On top of that we run a 'Friends' scheme for people interested in the idea but not up for the commitment of full membership. They can order half a pig in spring (with deposit) and we buy in enough weaners to cover those orders. This year we've sold six pigs to Friends which are just being butchered at the minute. We also offer surplus eggs and Christmas geese/turkeys to the Friends.


  • Joined Jan 2012
  • South Derbyshire
Re: Selling pork
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2012, 09:52:47 pm »
Some excellent ideas there ... we have done similar but on a much smaller scale, albeit we are looking to increase too.

One thing we are going to change is the way we offer bacon and sausage with 1/4 pigs (we do 1/4 rather than 1/2) and that is a 1/4 will be all in joints, sausage and bacon will be from pigs kept longer to avoid the compromise of trying to get pork and bacon from the same animals.  Therefore it will be '1/4 plus' and the price will reflect this. 

We have offered smoked or unsmoked bacon and trying to do one loin smoked and one unsmoked has not always matched requirements.  In the future we will try to better match the demand.  We plan to keep bacon and sausage in the freezer to go with the 1/4's whereas we will aim to have customers ready for joints when they are returned from the butchers.

Once other idea we have had to get a good return is to do Hog Roasts .... we recently hired a machine for a do of our own, a comparable machine would cost around 2200 from memory but judging by the demand the machine is a licence to print money for our butchers who we hired it off!!  We spoke to 'our man' there and he was telling us that they originally purchased a single machine as a bit of an experiment to see how it went. They now have 2 and they are both booked solid well ahead!!
Live for today
Plan for tomorrow

Mrs Snoodles

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Selling pork
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2012, 10:28:40 pm »
So many different set ups and ways of selling.

  I am trying to sell with minimum effort so the half route seems best, although admittedly a lot of people do not have huge freezers nowadays and it may be a limited Market.

 We have had the local pub and restaurant interested but I feel that I don't want to sell parts and have lots of transactions to deal with, if I don't have to.  The pub was only interested in the hocks and cheap cuts saying that they couldn't really make a good profit on loin.  I imagine that the restaurant will want good pieces but at the lowest rate possible and on some silly credit agreement, I imagine, which is quite the norm.

Pate....our abattoir/butcher did a mix of pork, sausages, gammon and bacon on our last lot of porkers and I offered customers a mix.  (ie: they chose whether they wanted the back leg as loin joints or a huge gammon, or gammon joints etc).   They were big carcasses as I had to leave them an extra month due to family issues, but it was a revelation to see all types of meat come from the one stage, so to speak.    Superb butchers, been around for 150 hrs.

Mrs Snoodles

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Selling pork
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2012, 10:37:43 pm »
I mean years ...this silly blimmin 'puter.

I love the community farm idea. That is excellent, what a brilliant idea.  Benkt - without seeming to be nosy but do you get paid for your time?  It is something that I know the farmer I work with would be interested in working towards but offering wages perhaps.  We would like to be more community driven and providing lower cost food to local people, but reared well etc. 


  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Cambridgeshire
    • Hempsals Community Farm
Re: Selling pork
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2012, 08:07:17 am »
I just about get paid by the farm but not enough to live so do a couple of days a week part time elsewhere on top. In my opinion it's not sustainable agriculture unless you can earn a living off it, which is our ultimate goal, this was our first full year so it's probably not surprising wd've still had to sink a lot of money into fences, stables etc.

Mrs Snoodles

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Selling pork
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 12:12:04 pm »
Thanks benkt.  I'm planning to do all our figures next week to try and project ( :thinking:) where things can go.  I agree with you about the sustainable factor, you can't keep doing this sort of this out of love for pigs, not unless you've got very deep pockets.  similar to you,  We are looking to provide a small wage for me, then eventually to be able pay someone to come in and do all the heavier stuff that I struggle with. It would be so nice to give one of the local agri college kids weekend/holiday work.   It's a bit hard a the moment..... We just see money going out, claiming some back on the meat, eating in to set up costs. 
Our biggest expense has been our trailer but it is some consolation that it wont lose much value.  We got it second hand, the farmer had made some really good adjustments and it is just superb. Does the job lovely :)

Making money on straight meat pigs was fairly straightforward. Keeping the breeding stock fed, that is the big thing.  I just hope we get decent litters. 


  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Middle ish of France
    • Cadeaux de La forge
Re: Selling pork
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2012, 01:23:39 pm »
I hope everyone does well with their selling techniques and the innovative systems above.
Can I suggest that you try and set up a new forum " Meat for sale" so that members can see when, what and where you are selling.
Some members do not keep pigs and we all have family and friends who we could alert to pork sales in their area. Resturants, shops and Pubs could have a link to such a web page. Maybe Dan has some ideas for a callender based forum so people can plan their purchase ahead - eg Pigs ready in Jan 2013 - area - details of ordering etc etc.
Gifts and crafts made by us.


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Selling pork
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2012, 01:39:10 pm »
That seems like a sound idea - I'll make sure Dan sees it and we can discuss after the Festival.

Everything is "after the Festival" ;D

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Selling pork
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2012, 01:59:29 pm »
MAK what a fantastic idea  but sadly will be domed to failure    it would only be a few that have there pork done through a proper cutting plant and transported correctly that would benefit
pubs restaurants and shops already have suppliers of pork   and the only way to get in the door is by undercutting    then you undervalue your product     they have to make a proffit as well
no magic wand can turn your product  into an instant seller      the producer has to get of of there own backside get out there  and market it for themselves   
and honestly to try and get into the retail side is not for the faint hearted  or for those that hand the pork out with one hand and expect the money in the other  :farmer:

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: Selling pork
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2012, 02:28:54 pm »
MAK what a fantastic idea  but sadly will be domed to failure   

Sadly agree with Robert here as it will become just like the farmers markets round here full of back street boys wanting to cash in on buying meat from the wholesalers and passing it off as home reared ::) >:(  at niche market prices
mandy :pig:


  • The Accidental Smallholder
  • Administrator
  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
    • The Accidental Smallholder
    • Facebook
Re: Selling pork
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2012, 02:54:47 pm »
We will be developing a proper advertising section of the website over the winter.

We'll have a category (or several) for meat, and all members will be able to list their produce for sale, and be linked to their local area. We don't know yet if there will be a charge to post ads, we've yet to get that far with planning.

I'm not sure why it would be doomed to failure? We've got 8 lambs going to slaughter next month, some spoken for, and advertising them on TAS will make people in our local area aware of what meat we've got for sale, and if they want to buy a half lamb then everyone's a winner. I don't see the difference between advertising on TAS and putting leaflets in with our eggs - just making our potential customers aware of what's on offer.

It may not work for everyone, in fact it may not work at all, and some may try to abuse the system, but if we let those be reasons for not doing something we'd never do anything. :)

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Selling pork
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2012, 03:00:44 pm »
i know of one market stall trader   that has the rare breed banners and photos  and they are there at the farm       but it is commercial pork that is sold    saves them the bother everything is done already         just rake the money in
but that was not the aspect i was looking at it from :farmer:


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