Pork producer set to adapt again

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A Cornish farmer and food producer based near Redruth is braced for a bumper Christmas rush, following a year of extraordinary adaptation and growth.

Primrose Herd is a family farm and butchery which specialises in outdoor-reared, traditional breed pigs; Sally Lugg and her team supply top restaurants and farm shops across Cornwall and sell their meat at Helston Farmer’s Market, as well as online.

2020 has “felt like a relentless agility contest” according to Lugg, who is ready to adapt her business yet again, shifting the focus back to online retail as another national lockdown begins.

Extra staff have been recruited, new products introduced, and a free local delivery offer has been launched to help people source quality food safely and conveniently during lockdown.

During the first lockdown online sales increased dramatically, allowing the family business to survive, even as their wholesale trade was decimated by the shutdown of the hospitality industry.

With the reopening of restaurants, pubs and hotels in the summer, Primrose Herd had to respond quickly to fulfil a different type of demand; Lugg and head butcher Jake Gregory hired new members of staff to help them keep up.

On the verge of another national lockdown, Primrose Herd is ready to switch back to the online retail model as the festive season approaches.

Lugg said: “Obviously we are standing by to support the Cornish hospitality industry in any way we can, and hope that our pubs, restaurants and hotels will be able to trade profitably in the run-up to Christmas – there is a lot of concern about that right now amongst our friends in the trade.”

She added: “However, we’re very lucky that we are able to reach our customers via the website during these periods of upheaval – people are extremely keen to source great quality food and have it delivered to their door. With demand changing again our new staff in the butchery are in for a busy time.

“We’re pleased to have recruited locally for these skilled, year-round positions. At the start of this latest lockdown we’re confident that we can keep up with our website orders.”