The science bit
The science bit
Choice of Protein
Responsibly and ethically sourced
The selection of carcass is key to delivering charcuterie excellence. Much fanfare is made about breed and whilst it undoubtedly plays a role in the quality of the charcuterie, it is by no means the only factor to consider…
The average kill-weight of a commercial pig in the UK is between 60 and 80kg. During the period of this animal's life (approximately 10 months to a year), the animal’s growth is rapid as shown in this graph. Within a relatively short space of time, the growth rate slows and it is at this stage that the majority of animals are sent to slaughter. This means that most of the pork that makes it onto the supermarket shelves is between 8-10 months old.
At Tempus we strongly believe that this is far too young and we want animals that are older and bigger. There is a problem, however, and that is the fact that the bigger pigs get, the more they eat and that starts to become very expensive in terms of feed. They put on weight more slowly, more of which is fat - which is less desirable in this world of ‘fat is bad” (which thankfully is changing as we come round to the realisation that our bodies require fat).
So we needed to radically change our thinking in terms of how do we access animals of a size and age that we want in order to make world-class charcuterie. We couldn’t convince our farmers to take the animals to a weight that we wanted and it simply wasn’t commercially viable even if we could convince them to do so. And then it hit us... SOWS. Big beautiful ex-breeding sows! Where there are pig farms there are sows and they can't keep farrowing forever so this became the supply chain we started to explore.
So why sows? The physiology of older animals is key to the Tempus product range. Not only is it the cornerstone of our sustainable food ethos, but it also provides us with the perfect charcuterie pig. Sows are stronger and considerably larger than a market pig, they are on average 4-5 times older than the animals killed at a commercial weight which provides better intermuscular fat growth and marbling, as well denser back and belly fat deposit, which again is ideal for charcuterie production.
In addition, from an ethical perspective, we would much rather take animals at the end of their lives than at the start. And just as importantly, using animals in existence which would have been exported or gone into pet food for instance, is far more sustainable from a carbon footprint than simply breeding more animals.
We now had precisely the right animals for making our award-winning charcuterie but in addition these are the most sustainable and ethically reared.