THE movement toward more conscious eating goes far beyond health and lifestyle considerations these days. Consumers want to know exactly what they are eating – where it came from, how it has been handled, and how its quality has been assured.
That’s according to Brent Fairlie, CEO of Lynca Meats, who said pork has been central to accommodating these changes in the meat market. “One needs only recall the Listeriosis outbreak of 2017 and 2018 to be convinced of just how important traceability and testing are at all stages of the pork production process,” he said.
“Lynca Meats processes hundreds of thousands of pigs annually, and the vast majority of our pork comes from a carefully chosen base of farmers,” Fairlie added. “Our priority has always been to provide South Africans with pork of the highest quality and best flavour, but many don’t realise just how much care goes into achieving this goal.”
He said all their farmers are export-rated based on being “compartmentalised”. This essentially means that they comply to strict measures to ensure food safety and full traceability. Compartmentalised farms are audited independently by the state to ensure food safety, with many biosecurity measures in place to prevent outbreaks.
The Pork360 Quality and Traceability system accredits the company’s pigs as residue, hormone, antibiotic and chemical free; that they receive humane treatment on farms; and that they are reared in modern technologically advanced housing with scientifically balanced rations. It also attests to meat quality control through feed formulations, weight control, age control and stress-free environment.
“In addition, our pigs are raised with the highest animal welfare standards. They are housed under optimal climatic conditions and in sow-stall friendly group housing systems. We enjoy a long-standing relationship with the SPCA, who assesses our practices regularly,” said Fairlie.
Giving the company greater control over every step of the process, Lynca Meats owns and operates its own abattoir and deboning plant. These, said Fairlie, adhere to the strictest sanitation standards and are deep cleaned daily, with the same strict traceability standards in place.
“If a product recall were ever to become necessary, Lynca Meats pork products are fully traceable through the entire value chain, and what’s more, Lynca Meats is the only producer who is able to do so.
“Every product is batch-released, has a unique barcode which enables us to trace which farmer the pork meat is from and is organoleptically tested. That means it’s not only tested for safety and quality on a microscopic level. We actually cook each sample to ensure it lives up to the Lynca Meats seal of approval.”