Our bacon is different from normal shop-bought bacon. It's made using pork from the pigs on our farm, for a start. They're kept free range, and are rare breed Berkshires and Saddlebacks, which makes them more flavoursome from the get-go. And then we use traditional, time-honoured techniques to cure and smoke it, for maximum flavour, and a preservative-free product.
Oliver makes all our smokers himself. The bacon is cured first, and then hot smoked, packed and brought to market or sent to a providore. It's all-Tasmanian, made in the West Tamar Valley, free range and nitrate free.
Available on our stall at Harvest Launceston farmers' market fortnightly and at select providores in northern Tasmania and Hobart. (See 'Buy' page for market dates and stockists.)
"This place and this farm is now part of our identity as a family. We've worked incredibly hard to build our herd and our business. It is nothing short of heartbreaking to think of it being gone overnight, and the farm falling silent."
It's been a turbulent week. On Tuesday we heard that JBS, the conglomerate that runs the abattoir we use at Devonport, would close on 15th November.
Just use another abattoir, you might think? Well, no. There is only one abattoir in the north of Tasmania which handles pigs. There is an abattoir at Cressy, which is a suitable distance away from our farm and well placed for the sector just south of Launceston, but it has Halal certification which is important part of its business, so it doesn't slaughter pigs.
This leaves us high and dry. There is really no viable alternative that we could use. To our knowledge there are a couple of small abattoirs in the south of the state, but that is far too great a distance to transport pigs. We could not afford the travel time it would take to get there and back once a fortnight. It would add a time and financial cost to our business that lessened its already parlous viability. And it would be a completely unacceptable practice to us - we choose to farm and keep our livestock as kindly and ethically as we can and we do not want to transport them long distances before slaughter.
For this reason we would not go for the alternative that some larger farms might, of shipping our pigs across the Bass Strait to be slaughtered on the mainland. What an appalling thought.