Sustainably is the key focus for everything we do at Poaka. Sustainably running our free range pig farm, our butchery, our packaging and our logistics.
Sustainable Free Range Pig Farming
Poaka has chosen to free range our pigs as we believe this is the most ethical way to farm these beautiful, intelligent animals. As with any type of farming, there will always be some impact on the environment. However Poaka is trying to do everything in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way.
- We have very low stocking rates. This results in excellent grass cover over the farm. The low stocking density, along with good grass cover (we encourage and plant deep rooted pasture varieties), helps minimise the loss of nutrients, in particular nitrogen and phosphorous. Soil compaction is also minimized.
- We do not use synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or any other chemicals on our free range pasture or sweet chestnut orchard. Most modern farming operations require the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and other chemicals to maintain their high output. As Poaka has a very low stocking density over the farm, we do not need to use these industrial products. In fact we try to run the farm as organically as possible.
- We don’t use chemical drenches on our pigs. Our heritage breed pigs are naturally very hardy animals and have evolved over the years to be parasite resistant. This along with the very low stocking densities means that our pigs have a very low parasite burden. We do include organic tonics in the pigs diets to ensure they maintain excellent health.
- We have significant tree plantings on the farm. Not only do the trees make the farm a beautiful and enjoyable place, they also serve many important functions. We are continually planting trees that thrive in our dry canterbury climate and also provide forage of our pigs.
- The trees protect our light canterbury soils from wind erosion. If you have been in Canterbury on a hot “Nor’West” day, you will appreciate the power of the wind!
- Provide shade for the pigs in summer
- Provide shelter from cold winter winds
- Absorb nutrients that are beyond grass roots, that would potentially be lost
- Provide a habitat for a diverse range of local animals.
- Absorb carbon dioxide – helping to reduce our carbon footprint.
- We source all our supplementary pig food ingredients locally. While have enough land on our farm to be a completely closed system, it doesn’t make sense to farm several different feed crops on a small scale. However we source all the ingredients used to make our pig feed locally, minimizing the transport requirements. We also know the farmers and how they farm. We select farmers that are also focused on sustainability.
- Where possible we use certified organic cleaning products. All our cleaning products are fully biodegradable and have no nasty residual acting ingredients.
- We use certified organic ingredients for all our Poaka products. We use New Zealand made and grown/produced organic ingredients where available.
- Use recyclable packaging. All the packaging we use is fully recyclable. Where possible we do not use plastic packaging. For example our whole salami and dry cured meats are packaged in paper. We are always looking for ways to minimize the use of plastic packaging. As non-plastic alternative ways of packing become available, we will be adopting these.
- Our logistics partner, Courier Post, have a strong focus on sustainability and aim to be carbon free by 2030.