Prince of Wales visits organic pig farm in Norfolk
The Prince of Wales spent yesterday afternoon touring an organic pig farm in Norfolk and learning about its innovative environmentally-friendly methods of farming.
Prince Charles arrived at Bunkers Hill Farm at Houghton, near Fakenham, in a dark blue Jaguar at 2.50pm and left at around 4.15pm.
He was not accompanied by his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, but was joined on his tour by the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Richard Jewson, Lord David Cholomondeley, who owns the estate in which the farm is located, farmers and representatives from Waitrose, pig production company BQP and Dalehead Foods.
Lord Cholomondeley said: 'This is one of the largest if not the largest organic pig unit in the country and due to the location close to Sandringham, his involvement with Waitrose and his interest in organic farming, it was a good place for him to visit.
'He is very passionate and knowledgeable about organic farming and he was showing a lot of interest and asking lots of questions throughout the tour.
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'I have met Prince Charles several times and it has been really lovely to have him here.'
When visiting the area where sows give birth Prince Charles stroked an 18-day-old piglet that was brought to him.
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All pigs produced on the farm go to 'Duchy Originals from Waitrose' pork lines.
Waitrose sells approximately 50pc of the UK-produced organic pigs and all are processed by Dalehead Foods.
Prince Charles learned how the farm has a herd of 600 Landrace/Duroc sows, which help fertilize and control weeds on the rest of the 600 acre farm.
This includes an organic vegetable farm, which also supplies Waitrose.
The farm operates a rotation system. Depending on the previous crop, the pigs are moved onto stubble, vegetable land, grass leys or land that has grown vining peas. The pigs clear weeds from the previous crop and add fertility back into the soil. The pigs move across the land, staying for a year to optimise their positive, fertility building input and giving them the best possible conditions.
All the organic pig feed is sourced and organised by Dalehead.
More than 95pc of all cereals and beans are supplied from six local organic arable farmers – supplying more than 5,200 tonnes between them.
The farmers work together to ensure they grow what the pigs need and the pig farmers aim to use what the farmers grow, providing a local sustainable supply.
The farm is also engaged in a three-year project reduce the carbon footprint of pig production by six pc.