Bill and Martyn Hunter of Orchard Farm Newbiggin were this week presented with a special ‘Centenary Supplier Award’ by cumbrian food champions Cranstons. Cranstons created the award to recognise the wonderful relationship they have had with the Hunters who have supplied pork to their company since 1976 in this their special Centenary year.
Roger Cranston “The Hunter family have been a key part of the Cranstons success story over the last 4 decades, consistently supplying us with top quality locally reared pork. We wanted to recognise the service they had given us as part of our Centenary Celebrations”.
Roger went on to explain ‘’Orchard House Farm are our main pork supplier and their dedication to producing the best quality pigs possible has allowed Cranstons to develop a reputation for great quality sausages, bacon, gammons, ham and pork pies- our most loved products. Just this year we have won a Great Taste Gold Award for our home cured streaky bacon and 6 Q Guild Gold Awards for pork products made with Orchard House Farm pork’’
Orchard House Farm is home to 3500 pigs, swedish red/ hampshire crosses, a more old-fashioned pig than the modern hybrid crosses that many supermarket suppliers prefer. The Hunters believe they are more robust and healthy animals which means they can be fattened on a natural cereal based diet Martin and Bill work closely with a nutritionist, the feed their herd receives is unique to them. It takes around 18 weeks to fatten a pork pig and 22 weeks to fatten a larger bacon pig.
Martyn Hunter said ‘ We are thrilled to be recognised by Cranstons as one of their most valued suppliers. Our farm has grown alongside the Cranstons business over the decades. In 1976 when my father Bill first began supplying pigs to the late Jimmy Cranston Roger and Philip’s father we sent them just 2 a week, now we supply around 75 a week. Dad’s firsr memories of Philip and Roger was them delivering meat with their father on the way to school in Penrith. Although the scale of the business has changed the relationship still operates on trust and traditional values, we speak often with Roger to discuss supply and developments on the farm’’
The route from farm to butchery counter is a simple one involving few food miles. From Orchard Farm the pigs are taken to Blackbrow Abattoir at Wigton, the carcasses are then returned to Cranstons Ullswater Rd production unit to be hung. Cranstons believe the combination of buying from a trusted local producer, using a family run local abatoir and creating all their pork products in house using traditional butchery techniques ensures the best possible quality.