The SchuAm Pork story
In 1965, the late Martin Schuster and his sons Mark and Jeffrey introduced Landrace and Large White pigs to their Freeling farm to diversify their grain and hay growing enterprise. Mark and Jeffrey gradually expanded the piggery to its current size of 150 sows.
Mark's son Daniel and son-in-law Damien Amery took an increasing interest in the piggery, and in 2005, after speaking with local Barossa chefs, realised there was an increasing demand for premium pork products. They set about breeding the perfect Berkshire pig on the family farm.
Branding their product SchuAm Pork (from the family names Schuster and Amery), they began selling their product at the local Barossa Farmers Market. SchuAm Pork quickly became sought after by restaurateurs and consumers alike for its premium quality and consistently outstanding flavour.
Creating the best quality pork
The piggery has been designed and built to be both practical and pig "friendly". The sows are all group housed with ample room to turn and move. A three-quarter stall and individual feeder is also available to each sow allowing her to eat without being "bullied" by her pen mates.
Overhead drippers provide effective relief from the heat and a shutter system provides ventilation in summer and a draft free environment in winter. The sows also have access to an area filled with straw which allows them the opportunity to "roll in the mud" as nature intended, as well as giving them a comfortable bed.
We do use farrowing crates to minimise piglet death through sow rollover. The farrowing shed is both air-conditioned and heated. When the weather is extreme, it is by far the most comfortable shed on the farm. Sows spend a maximum of 8 weeks per year in this shed, having two farrowings a year.
The piglets are weaned at approximately 21 days of age and are placed in groups which are then housed in large straw based sheds. The Berkshires are grown out in free to roam paddocks.
The pigs are fed a diet of barley, wheat, triticale and peas, supplimented with various protein meals. All the diets are formulated by a professional nutritionist. We grow all of the grain on our land using sustainable agricultural methods.
Have you ever eaten pork that was overly strong in flavour, or smelt unappealing while you were cooking it? Chances are you were eating a young male (boar) pig. We guarantee all SchuAm Pork is boar taint free.
All of our pigs are branded with SchuAm Pork in the form of a strip brand. This ensures our customers that pork sold under our brand is from our farm. This form of product identification, whilst common with beef and lamb, is unique in the pork industry (definitely in South Australia).
The black-haired berkshire is one of the oldest recognised breeds of pig in the world. Berkshire pigs produce extra marbling throughout the meat, creating a moist pork product, which tends to be richer in colour compared to other breeds of pig. For some years its popularity waned in favour of white breeds of pig with faster growth rates, and lower fat content; however the slow grown Berkshire is now often regarded as the preferred choice because of its moisture and flavour.
The Berkshire breed makes up approximately 70-80% of the genetic material of the pigs that produce SchuAm Pork. The remaining 20-30% is a mixture of the Duroc, Landrace and Large White breeds.
The SchuAm Piggery is QA under the Australian Pork Industry Quality Assurance Program.