Largest herd of Gloucester Old Spot Pigs found in Ludlow

Largest herd of Gloucester Old Spot Pigs found in Ludlow

The Gloucester Old Spot Pig has recently been singled out to gain TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) accreditation.

The breed which is recognisable for its white skin and black spots is among 42 types of British food and drink to be awarded this privileged status by European authorities.  The breed standard for the Gloucesters declares that meat sold as ‘Old Spot’ must come from a pedigree animal reared using traditional methods.  However, the largest herd of Gloucester Old Spots does not reside in Gloucester, they live in Ludlow.

The Ludlow Food Centre, part of the Earl Of Plymouth’s Oakly Park Estate are proud owners of the largest herd of Gloucester Old Spots in the UK with over 500 pigs.  The Centre has been breeding the pigs for 4 years and have been trying to increase demand and interest in the breed.  The meat from these pigs has a little more fat than commercial varieties which is why it has a greater depth of flavour. 

Tom Hunt, Marketing Manager at the Food Centre says, ‘We have worked really hard to increase the popularity of Gloucesters ... To have the breed recognised throughout Europe as a pedigree is fantastic and will definitely help protect the breed standard’

Other British foods that have been included on the accreditation list include Melton Mowbray pork pies and clotted cream.  This type of accreditation is the same as that granted to Champagne and will prevent businesses selling products that do not meet the requirements.  Pork from Gloucesters will have to be from a pedigree herd which will prevent supermarkets selling meat from cross bred pigs as ‘Gloucester Old Spot’ meat. 
Mr Hunt says,

‘In marketing it is easy to pass something off as a genuine product but this accreditation means that only the real thing can be sold as such...The Food Centre is proud to have bred the largest herd in the country and we hope that people we come and try it to see how much better it is than commercial varieties’ 

Date Posted: 13th July 2010

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