In the lush pastures of the Byron Bay hinterland, one lucky group of Berkshire pigs has access to one of the most coveted views in the region.
Byron Bay Pork’s paddock boasts spectacular scenery that extends from Cape Byron to the Tenter field Tablelands.
The Singh family is as much a part of the region as the bay itself. Their ancestors settled here in the late 1800s and have been farming in the region ever since. John is the latest branch on the family tree, having started on the family’s dairy farm in the 1970s. At the time their farm provided milk for the growing piglets, who can consume up to four litres of milk a day. The opportunity came to take over the existing piggery and John seized the chance.
Not only do the happy pigs have some of the most sought-after scenery in the country, they are also hand-raised in eco-pens. John incorporates best working practices and premium animal health standards on all his farms and his pigs are free from added hormones and antibiotics. What’s more, the Byron climate is perfect for the pigs: they are free to roam without feeling too chilly in winter or too hot in summer.
The farm was initially home to Land Race pigs but after seeing a demand for heritage breeds of pork, John made the switch to black Berkshire pigs. The heritage breeds are slower growing than other traditionally farmed breeds, which results in a sweeter, more superior end product. Black Berkshire pigs are considered to be a rare breed with estimates putting the number of Australian sows at around 100. John has a combination of Berkshire and Berkshire-cross animals and boasts more than 400 high quality sows over two farms in the region.
Black Berkshire pork is renowned for its juicy, avoursome and tender meat. The cuts are a beautiful pink hue and are renowned for their superior marbling characteristics.
To keep up with demand for quality cuts of meat, Byron Bay Pork processes 100 animals a week. John’s products find their way to quality gourmet butcheries along the New South Wales coast as well as Brisbane, Sydney and even as far as Melbourne. They are also a favourite item in David Jones’ gourmet food section. The products can also be found on plates a bit closer to home: award-winning Harvest Cafe in Newrybar serves up Byron Bay Pork’s cuts as does Byron at Byron in Byron Bay.
If you prefer to try cooking some yourself, John can be found at the Byron Bay farmers’ market held every Thursday. Make sure you come hungry because not only does John bring along his best cuts of meat, but with the barbecue in tow, you’ll be able to sample some of the finest bacon and eggs you’ve ever had.