Local instead of regional

STUTTGART With quality from the "Bad Boller straw pig" is the mega Stuttgart since a good year at the start.

„Meat from the Bad Boll straw pig is in a different league.“ Wolfgang Sinn from the Stuttgart butcher’s shop Feldwieser-Sinn goes into raptures. He is one of five butchers who carry the meat of the robust pigs exclusively in his counter.

The quality meat program "Bad Boller Straw Pig has been on the market for a good year. It was developed by Samuel Ruger. The master butcher, certified meat sommelier and full-time board member of Mega Stuttgart had set himself the goal of offering an adequate product for customers with the highest demands on animal welfare. For this he got Philipp Aichele on board. The young farmer from the Lindenhof in Bad Boll sources robust, exclusively female piglets with a high Duroc content from a single producer and fatten them for the Mega according to binding criteria: All production stages are localized in Baden-Wurttemberg, they are kept in twice as much space as legally required, the pigs are given outdoor access, straw bedding and GMO-free feed. Their fattening lasts at least 120 days. His well-being stable let Exclusive producer Aichele, which also fulfills the guidelines of the Baden-Wurttemberg quality mark, also equip with underfloor heating and air conditioning indoors. Aichele: "We offer our pigs a great home, pay attention to good feed and a pleasant stable climate.“

Exclusive unique selling proposition

He delivers about 3.000 animals and is contractually bound to the large cooperative in Stuttgart. Samuel Ruger: "We have a multi-year supply and purchase agreement with him. Without such contracts no fattener would build a new animal welfare barn. And without supply contracts, there are no subsidies for barn construction. Here we are competing with the big players in food retailing, who have long recognized that the issues of locality, regionality and animal welfare only work in the long term if you are prepared to commit yourself contractually with guaranteed prices within certain limits and thus offer the farmers a perspective.“ In the same breath, Ruger urges the butchery trade to secure local raw materials for the long term, as long as they are still available. With the Bad Boll straw pig, the available raw material is limited because Aichele is the only fattener. One advantage for the five partners: they have an exclusive USP and can make a clear statement to their customers in the store about where the meat comes from- An attribute that few companies can boast of. ÜIn addition, Bad Boller straw pigs are only marketed as whole animals and take 100 percent account of the nose-to-tail concept.

24 hours rest before slaughter

In order to obtain the best meat quality, Ruger attaches just as much importance to the slaughter process as to the husbandry conditions: The Bad Boll straw pigs are therefore slaughtered exclusively in the cooperative’s own butchery slaughterhouse in Goppingen. For a long time now, slaughtering has only been carried out by the company’s own permanent employees. Particular emphasis is placed on a recovery period of at least 24 hours after transportation. „In addition, we have throttled the slaughtering speed in order to be able to carry out an artisan careful slaughtering. Equally important for us is a fast and animal-friendly anesthesia, which, in our opinion, is only possible with electronic anesthesia. Slaughtering is hygienic thanks to our live steam condensation scalding system, which is far from being standard in German slaughterhouses", he explains.

Further project planned

Ruger calls the Bad Boll straw pig a further development of Staufen meat, which the Mega Stuttgart also provides to its customers. „With the new program, we want to find out how important animal welfare and local produce are to our customers and whether they are willing to commit to a long-term contract with guaranteed purchase volumes, he explains. In addition, the cooperative’s straw pigs are raised locally rather than regionally: "It’s only eight kilometers from Bad Boll to the slaughterhouse, and the feed also comes from a maximum of 15 kilometers away.“ The master butcher is currently in the midst of development for beef from special husbandry, but does not want to reveal more at present.

In any case, Wolfgang Sinn is fully behind the Bad Boll straw pigs: "I’m happy about every schnitzel I cut.“ He praises the high juiciness, the optimal distribution of intramuscular fat and the meat stability. „When I cut a slice of pork neck, it remains standing and does not collapse in on itself.“ Sinn is therefore sure that the meat does not lose any water at home with its customers and retains the size with which it was placed in the pan. In the first few months after starting with the "new" system Meat, however, Sinn found the fat overlay a little too large. The issue was discussed in a meeting with piglet breeders, fatteners, butchers, Samuel Ruger and the head of the slaughterhouse, and after a change in the feed, a remedy was quickly found.

Sinn got its customers excited about the new meat offering and sensitized them to the brand. They always ask: "Is this also from the Bad Boll straw pig??“ Sinn then replies: "That’s always from the Bad Boller straw pig. I have nothing else in the counter at all.“ He has moderately and cautiously raised his sales prices at the time of introduction, but notes: "Actually, it should be even more expensive due to the quality. But customers have to get used to it before you add 50 cents or a euro again.“

Interested parties can watch how well the pigs feel with farmer Aichele at any time in the livestream. Wolfgang Sinn also takes a look in the stall from time to time. During one of his virtual visits, he noted: "Even in sub-zero temperatures, all the pigs were outside, resting in the fresh air.“

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