Hellers launches free-farmed range

21:58, May 24 2011

Christchurch smallgoods company Hellers has launched a new, free-farmed bacon range.

It says discerning shoppers are choosing New Zealand pork products and are concerned about welfare issues, expect the best quality and are prepared to pay for it.

Company founder and director Todd Heller said the company had done research to find out what consumers wanted and its latest bacon product ticked the boxes.

"All our free-farmed bacon is 100 per cent New Zealand-grown.

"Our bacon is sourced from selected New Zealand farms, where the sows are outdoors and their piglets are raised in barns after they're weaned. There are no crates, no stalls and the pigs are free to move around."

No hormones were used and regular independent animal welfare audits were carried out.

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"Free-farmed" means sows live in paddocks, with shelters to protect them from the weather and special huts for farrowing. The sows can move freely from their shelters to the paddock.

Managing director Nick Harris said there was growing consumer demand for free-farmed pork products.

The company had been in the free-farmed market for a while, first offering free-farmed bacon 18 months ago but had now re- branded, relaunched and expanded its range.

Hellers sources its free-farmed products from a group of Canterbury farmers called Apple Tree Farms.

It employs between 300 and 330 people at its meat processing plant in Kaiapoi and between 100 and 130 people in Auckland.

The company produces 80 types of sausages and saveloys, as well as bacon, ham and deli smallgoods.

The Press