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This little piggy brings home the bacon

Posted on : 09 October 2017

Written by: Kayla Burke

A Western Australian pig farmer has taken the whole hog, winning Champion Pork Exhibit at the 2017 Sydney Royal Taste of Excellence Awards.

Linton Batt, CEO of Black Label Berkshire, has proven that he is a leader, not a follower, breeding and raising the seemingly unstylish black haired pig rather than the more fashionable white pigs we see in supermarkets today.

Speaking to The Australian newspaper, Mr Batt explained his award winning Black Label Berkshire pig products.

“The Australian pork industry is generally in a downturn because there is so much cheap imported bacon coming into this country, but we have shown there is still a niche demand for high- value, good eating pork,” Mr Batt said.

“The most common reaction we get from customers is that they say it tastes like pork used to; peoples’ faces light up when they try it because — in both taste and mouth feel — it is completely unlike the bland and flavourless pork you buy at the supermarkets now.”

Growing up on his parent’s wheat and sheep farm near Narrogin, WA in the 1970’s, he garnered a passion for the heritage sow breed with his father also running a small Berkshire Pig Stud.

With the more aesthetically pleasing Landrace gaining attention from butchers and abattoirs, this unfashionable pig was almost phased out, even listed as endangered in its home country of England.

Fast forward to today, the British Breed has been revived thanks to Australian breeders and, of course; Mr Batt.

Purchasing his Beverly pig farm four years ago, he took a leap of faith, turning his dream into a reality. With marbled fat and a darker pink colour compared to other commercial pork this is a sweeter and easier meat to cook. 

Mr. Batt is now eligible for assessment for the RAS’ ultimate honour, the President’s Medal, to be announced at a gala dinner during the 2018 Sydney Royal Easter Show.