May 25 2013 Latest news:
Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Monday, October 1, 2012
A north Suffolk livestock club has started to provide members with pork from farm-reared pigs.
The Waveney Valley Pig Club, based at Kadesh Community Farm in Palgrave, is a community group set up in the tradition of previous pig clubs, whereby the members co-own the pigs and share equally the cost of looking after the pigs and the pork produced by the livestock.
The club’s founders used to run the livestock section of Diss Community Farm, but decided to split because the farm’s members wanted their community project to become an Industrial and Provident Society (IDS), which would have meant the organisation would have to comply with more stringent regulation.
However, Tracey Bennett, one of the club’s co-ordinators, said the livestock project was a separate section, but running as part of the farm and the members did not want to be subject to the tighter IDS rules, although the club still has good relations with the community farm.
The farm is also undergoing a structural review to end the reliance on volunteers and employ more full time staff.
She said: “Although we were part of the same farm, we were running different projects. Ours was smaller with between eight and 10 members and it runs very well as it is and we are very happy with it. The vegetable project, on the other hand, needs more members.”
She added the club could have between three and 10 pigs on site, depending on the number of babies born and the members feed them on a rota basis.
Tracey said: “We follow the long tradition of pig clubs stretching back to the second world war when the government encouraged people to come together in community groups to keep pigs to supplement their ration allowance.”
The club has also received a grant from charity the Saffron Community Foundation to help with start up costs.
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