We have traveled the world in our quest to produce the best meat, poultry, and game in the world. We found the best poultry in France with our Poulet RougeTM chicken (a slow-growing Label Rouge chicken), the best beef in Aberdeen Scotland from the original Aberdeen Angus, and now the best pork in England. That means... Joyce Farms Heritage Pork is on the way!
Our Heritage Pork will come from the Gloucestershire Old Spot (GOS) breed. This heritage breed dates back to the 1800s and is known for its distinctive black spots and floppy ears.
It's also known for producing tender, succulent pork that's full of natural flavor. In fact, it was the pork of choice for gourmets in England through the 1920’s and early 1930’s. Then, after World War II, when pig production became more industrialized, outdoor pigs like the Gloucestershire Old Spots fell out of favor. After demand for GOS pork dwindled, the breed actually became endangered. According to the Livestock Conservancy, as of 2009, only about 1000 GOS pigs existed in Great Britain and less than 200 breeding animals remained in the US. We are on a mission to revive this breed, and the best way to do that is by eating it. Increased demand for pork from GOS pigs means more will be raised and the breed can grow and thrive again.
One group that has always preferred its delicious taste is the British Royal family. To this day both The Prince of Wales and The Princess Royal keep GOS pigs on their Gloucestershire estates.
The GOS breed was originally developed in Gloucestershire, England. The animals were raised outdoors in orchards where they feasted on fallen apples, earning them the nickname “orchard pigs.” In British folklore, there were tales that the pigs' signature black spots were bruises from fallen apples.
Our GOS pigs are being raised on a small family farm in North Carolina. Their easy-going temperament and excellent foraging and grazing skills make them an ideal breed for our pastured pork program.
On our farm, they eat an all-vegetarian diet, are able to roam freely indoors and outdoors, and are able to breed and mature naturally. They're also never, ever given antibiotics, animal by-products, artificial ingredients, hormones or steroids.
Another point about this breed - GOS sows are known to be excellent mothers, and we can attest to that after seeing it first-hand this summer:
The result of our breed selection and raising standards is pure, flavorful, nutritious pork that will make you think you're tasting pork for the first time.
Is your mouth watering yet? We hope so. Be on the lookout for blog and email updates about our GOS Heritage Pork, coming in 2018!