Rare Breeds showing resilience….

The latest watchlist is out from the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, showing a resilient picture which is great news. Click on the link below.

The breeds we are or have been involved with are all on the list, mostly showing steady or positive positions which is fantastic. Portland Sheep, Oxford Sandy & Black and Large Black Pigs, British White Cattle, and Golden Guernsey Goats are all doing ok.

Pigs as a whole though are under real pressure, and sometimes we can really understand why. I am sure any small scale pig keeper will have a similar story.  Trying to rear and feed pigs for market, whilst trying to be ethical and sustainable is tough. Doing it all yourself means full-on farming. No lie-ins here. And at the end of the day, you are sometimes faced with the consumer who does not understand or, being honest, care about the effort you have put into your product and why they should be paying a premium for it. All some people want is a deal, it really can be depressing. I wrote a blog early on in our journey, talking about how markets work – as a marketer by trade I have a bit of knowledge (a little bit…), but now I am not so sure that the segmented market model I talked about is still valid, particularly in food. To me now, it seems there are now two main segments which have got bigger – the top end where people will pay over the odds for exclusivity and which is often based on place, and the mass market which is driven by the supermarkets and which is using price as the key differentiator, and the mass market is growing fastest. There will be niches that will continue to exist, and innovative approaches will come from the likes of Aldi who are promoting a Scottish native breed range of burgers, but ultimately trying to sell into niches in a packed, price dependent market is hard work. But we press on, and need to try new things, new markets, new products, new approaches..watch this space…








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