… as much as consumers are saying they want to buy organic, ethically produced meat, it’s not translating into sales…
Struggling farmers' desperate plea for help before they're forced to close doors
Yahoo7 News (Australia)
9 March 2019
Struggling pork farmers are desperately trying to get their product onto as many forks as possible as they fear they will have the close the family farm.
Brad and Melinda Murnane started Rhodavale Pork on the Sunshine Coast 10 years ago, vowing to farm pigs differently.
“I haven’t totally agreed with the way they’re locked in sheds on concrete,” Mr Murnane said.
Letting them roam free in a paddock, Mr Murnane said the mud, grass and sun seemed to make a difference to their final product.
But as much as consumers are saying they want to buy organic, ethically produced meat, it’s not translating into sales.
In fact, in recent months many butchers and independent supermarkets who stock their product have ditched them.
“When there’s so much really cheap pork on the market, it does obviously make our product a little less desirable,” Ms Murnane said.
Rhodavale Pork has absorbed the skyrocketing cost of grain, with the monthly bill for 1500 pigs around $60,000.
If consumer habits don’t change, Mr and Ms Murnane fear they’ll be forced to walk away from their land.
“I do think it will be too late before anyone realises what they are missing,” Ms Murnane said.
The farmers wrote on Facebook it was no secret they were doing it tough.
“But our situation is so real right now that without significant increased sales to cover expenditure within the next few weeks, we will inevitably have to shut our doors, becoming the next faceless victims of the pork pricing crisis coupled with the exponential cost of grain,” they said.
“We have worked so hard over the past 10 years to build our business from scratch and produce a local, free range and pastured pork product that has an incredible reputation for quality and consistency.
“People power is what we need now, and plenty of it! Let’s get Rhodavale Pork into as many butcher shops and onto as many forks as possible!”
The pork industry isn’t the only one suffering as consumers turn to cheaper options...