16 Oct 2020

A Piggery on the Peninsula

From Country Life, 9:28 pm on 16 October 2020
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Photo: RNZ / Cosmo Kentish-Barnes

Pieter Bloem is a second-generation Otago pig farmer. The family farm, overlooking Dunedin on one side and the ocean on the other, was bought by his parents in 1954. 

They were intending to milk cows but there wasn't enough suitable land to make it viable so they started a piggery.

Currently, Pieter farms 3000 pigs with his son Gavin and each week 140 are sent to the freezing works in Timaru for processing.

About 45 percent of New Zealand's commercial pork breeding herd is farmed outdoors but the Bloem's farm is an intensive indoor operation.

As a result, Pieter has been accused of factory farming.

He says they have tried outdoor pig farming but it was too wet and muddy so his focus is on continually improving his indoor facilities and feeding systems.