Traditional Speciality Guaranteed
The Gloucestershire Old Spots is pretty special to have achieved this recognition – the EU Commission has decreed that its produce – when traditionally reared and finished – is a foodstuff with Traditional Speciality GUARANTEED!
Traditionally Farmed Gloucestershire Old Spots Pork was protected throughout the EU from Friday 18th June 2010. This is the first breed in the world to gain such recognition.
The biggest single factor in the regeneration of the GOS breed has been the increasing awareness of the eating qualities of its produce and the growing niche market as a result.
The committee of the Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig Breeders’ Club were far-sighted enough to set in motion the processes back in 1999 to register meat from pure bred GOS pigs as a special product in the EU. It was just as well because today we face challenges from the supermarkets wanting to sell the produce of cross-bred pigs labelled as Gloucestershire Old Spots Pork & Bacon.
In 2010, the Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig Breeders’ Club was awarded Traditional Speciality Guaranteed status by the EU Commission which after Brexit passed into the protection of UK law. Further details can be found at TSG.
Persons or companies wishing to apply for TSG status must apply to the GOSPBC in the first instance. Applicants must be members of the British Pig Association and must nominate a veterinary practice to carry out an inspection of their herd and provide the information requested on the application form. There is a flat rate £15 administration charge for applicants to the GOSPBC. Applicants are responsible for the cost of veterinary inspection directly with their chosen veterinary practice. For guidance and application forms please email email@example.com
The Club is active in pursuing traders who mis-label meat and try to pass off produce as being GOS which does not come from purebred pedigree GOS pigs.
With a niche market product, there are plenty of opportunities to sell your GOS pork and bacon. Firstly, there will be a demand from family, friends and neighbours so you can arrange slaughter and butchery and sell half pig packs this way. If you get your customers to collect their packs direct from the butchers, you do not even have to worry about meeting all the various food safety laws because you will not be handling the meat at any stage. Please, however, do ensure that you do not undersell your product. The eating quality of your pork should be far superior to anything that your customers have tried elsewhere. Make sure you price your meat accordingly. Don’t just work out your direct costs and price it accordingly. You should be looking at a premium price or your customers will not fully appreciate the quality.
The handling aspect applies of course once you get more ambitious and plan to start selling at Farmers Markets etc. Once you start down this road, you will need to be much more careful and be fully aware and spend the money to meet all the Food Hygiene requirements and labelling laws. However, you will have the advantage of a much larger audience and should be able to sell more product. Similarly, if you start to interest local pubs and restaurants, similar requirements will need to be met.
Lastly, a number of breeders supply direct to butchers and as you are delivering your own pigs to a nominated local abattoir, you need not be concerned with the requirements for handling food.