The two main methods of pig farming within the UK comprise either the indoor or the outdoor system. Both processes are meticulously thought through so as to ensure that the best possible product is formed. British farmers pride themselves on this, consulting with specialist nutritionists and veterinarians to ensure that the pigs are raised in a way that will keep both the pigs and the national food chain healthy.
The UK is blessed with a mild and wet climate, particularly in the west, which is propitious for the growing of grass and ruminant production. The agricultural area in the UK, excluding woodlands, is about 71% of the total area of land, and around 65% of farmland is best suited to growing grass rather than other crops. British beef is among the most efficient and sustainable in the world due to our extensive, grass-based systems.
Beef production is based on a wide range of cattle breeds, usually incorporating crosses to benefit from hybrid vigour. Suckler cows are crosses selected for their maternal characteristics. Hybrid vigour is maximised by crossing these with a ‘terminal sire’ – a bull with good meat-producing characteristics which might be a continental or a traditional British breed like the Hereford and the Aberdeen-Angus.
Beef cattle are reared outdoors on grass-based systems and brought indoors when the pasture becomes too wet to support livestock. They are then fed a diet, often based on home-grown feeds.