The drought across Australia has severely affected our ability to continue running our small farm, not only because the cost of grain has risen significantly, but also because a lack of rain over the last 12 months has meant we have been unable to grown our own nutritional grasses as planned. In order to continue bringing you quality free range pork that is sustainable, ethical, and delicious, we are asking for your support.
Will your giving make a difference? Of course!
*If each of our 600 followers gave only $8 we would surpass our target. *If only a third of our followers were willing to give $25 each, we would surpass our target. *If 100 of our most loyal fans (you?) could part with $50, we would surpass our target.
We think this is achievable, no matter what amount you're able to contribute.
All funds raised through this campaign will go directly to supporting production at Bruthen Creek Free Range Pork: initially to purchase feed to put out fires in the short term, and in the mid-term to cover processing costs and begin set-up of essential infrastructure such as irrigation and seeding equipment. Any leftover funds will be put towards the purchase of our own refrigerated transport.
Your support will help our family-run farm stay afloat, so that we can continue to provide a product that is ethical and sustainable, and continue the conversation with a wider audience. The sad reality is that without a significant injection of funds, we will have to cease commercial production.
We are so grateful for every dollar received - your generous donations will help us continue to make true free range pork accessible and affordable.
Donate now, or read the rest of our story here:
This is the post we were hoping not to need, but if we are honest it has been months in the making. The drought across Australia has hit us hard. We can’t grow our own feed (not from lack of trying), and the price of grain has stayed high. Free range pig farmers from all corners continue to shut up shop because the costs are extraordinary, and the pinch is on with low price alternatives at supermarkets. We want to continue to provide a quality product at an affordable price, but have been supplementing the business with personal incomes from separate jobs to keep it going in the hope something breaks, but have come to stark reality today. By the end of the week we will have run out of grain from our stores and can’t obtain any more as we are too far in arrears with the supplier.
We've kept at it this long because you all believe in the product, and we have a great love for what we do, but we have come to the fork in the road: we wind down operations, or we ask for help.
We have decided to ask for help, and lay out specifically what our needs are in the hope that there are enough people who believe in supporting this kind of farming to keep us on our feet. We believe the support is out there to help us complete the sustainable business model we set out to do, so if you believe in us and what we do, this is where we need your help.
The issues for us over the last 18 months have been multiple, but chief among them has been a lack of resources for supplementing grain-based feed.
The "green drought" in Gippsland has resulted in an inability to grow our own feed and rotate our stock through natural-grassed pasture, and this has increased our reliance on feed, shipped in at great expense by the tonne. We want to keep producing quality animals that are against the grain (pardon the pun) of traditional animal farming practices, but we’ve had lots of hurdles along the way to achieving that.
Sadly we are not the only ones. Our goals have remained in place, but lack of profit has prevented us achieving them. In terms of infrastructure, if we had our own refrigerated vehicle, the extra fencing we need to maintain an adequate system of rotation, plus the irrigation to sustain our own crops from bore water, we likely could have survived the drought, but we didn’t (and don’t) have those things.
This brings us to feed prices. A year ago we installed a second-hand silo, kindly gifted to us, with the intention of buying grain by the tonne to reduce our costs. We out-layed significant finance to have our private road widened from encroaching tree branches to allow the semi-trailer access. By the time this work was completed, the effects of the drought were at full force, and grain prices had increased by ~50%, essentially taking us back to square one with regards to feed outlay.
We are currently 90 days in arrears to our grain supplier and, understandably, cannot procure any more until that debt is settled. Although we have a team of producers who provide excess product for us (eggs, dairy, apples), and we are grateful to them for every gram we can collect, we have not been able to secure enough supplemental feed (whilst maintaining a healthy diet) to bring our feed costs down to a manageable level.
The solution here is we desperately need to make contact with producers in the Gippsland region who can provide their waste/excess produce (eggs, dairy by-products, fruit and vegetables, spent brewing grain etc) to get our pigs through the interim until we can secure a load of grain. Ideally we would love to partner with producers who can supply bulk quantities of produce that would otherwise go to waste.
In order to continue production, we need to improve our infrastructure. Practically, this means raising enough funds to secure feed for the rest of the year, improve and expand our fencing, cover the cost of seed and irrigation for sowing out paddocks (this will bring feed costs down significantly), and purchase some basic machinery to aid in the sowing.
All of us on the BC team want to see this work, but we are also realists. We understand the nature of business and farming, so we are prepared for all outcomes, but we just can't pull the pin on years of a real hard slog without giving this a go first. We are asking you, our loyal supporters and customers, to help us stay on our feet. We have continued to invest our own incomes into this, but we are now at a point where we need to make some big decisions about where to go from here. The only way we can continue is to crowdfund for the infrastructure we so desperately need.
If you're with us, what can you do?
- Share this post!
And then... - Do you know someone with expertise? Help us network with producers who can either supply waste/excess, or who want to create something beautiful with our meat.
- Donate to our gofundme campaign if you believe in the future of free-range! If only one third of our followers gave $25, we would reach our goal, and above! We want to keep providing you with the quality pork you have come to appreciate. We still believe in eating better meat to create a better world - help us continue that conversation.
- We will continue to offer stock for sale over the coming weeks to reduce the pressure on feed, including some sows for salami season, please share these posts far and wide.
What will we do with the funds from this campaign? Our first goal is to fill the silo, and if we get anything above, it goes to clearing our overdue accounts, and into the infrastructure to ensure our sustainability.
We thank you all for your support over the past couple of years, and have enjoyed the smiles on your faces as we’ve delivered you our pork.
Oink oink! The Morel Family, Bruthen Creek Free Range Pork