Why are we not organic?

One of the most common questions we get asked is ‘are you organic’? Here we have outlined why we have never gone down the route of organic certification.

Our Mission

When we founded Pipers Farm 30 years ago our purpose was to produce food that is a pleasure to eat because it tastes fantastic, is grown ethically and in harmony with nature. Every farming decision we make is influenced by those simple objectives. 

We strongly believe in the principles set out by the original pioneers of the organic movement. However right from the outset, we felt the word 'organic' would eventually lose its meaning. Instead, we decided we wanted to produce food with our own set of standards and be totally transparent in discussing with you our methods. 

What are the differences in Organic standards and Pipers Farm standards?

There are various different governing bodies for organic standards, each one has a slightly different set of rules. However, you can find out about the most widely used body here

There are two important pillars in the way we produce our food versus organic methods:

Small Scale Farmyard Abattoirs 

The vast majority of meat sold in the UK is processed through huge industrial abattoirs. 

These are a significantly weak link in the modern food chain. You will have read multiple times about how the standards that can often slip in these highly geared factories. Whether meat is organic or non-organic, it is mostly killed in these same large-scale abattoirs.

Near us, for example, we have a poultry plant that kills a million chickens a week, both organic and non-organic. These industrial operations are in many ways responsible for the perception and reality that modern meat is ‘harmful’ because of food poisoning bacteria until rendered safe by the consumer. 

At Pipers Farm we work with a small family run abattoir based 10 miles away from our farm. We have worked with the team for over 25 years and trust them implicitly. As a highly skilled job and such an important part of the process, we will never compromise on working with small-scale businesses where we have total control and transparency over slaughter. The abattoir we choose to work with is not certified as organic. 

Our poultry are killed by hand on the farm in which they were grown, which again does not carry an organic slaughter certification.

Castration of pigs

All of our pigs are native breeds which are grown much more slowly than modern hybrid pigs. This means because our pigs are grown so slowly the male pigs are grown well beyond sexual maturity.

Castrating our pigs at one-week-old means that these pigs can then lead a completely stress-free life, growing slowly in family groups alongside their sisters, in a wonderfully healthy outdoor environment. 

Castration of pigs is not permitted under organic certification, however we belive it a fundamental welfare standard to producing content Pipers Farm pigs. 

The bigger, Pipers Farm, picture

We have always been inspired by Carlo Petrini who founded the Slow Food movement. 

In so many ways it encapsulates our philosophy which is that food is about much more than a mouthful, it is about the landscape it is from, the terroir; and the people who for generations have nurtured that land; and the families within the local community who are all part of the process, and they in turn are the wheels of the local community... the village hall, the church, the school, the shop, the pub; and then it is about the people and the occasion when the food is eaten and enjoyed for all that it stands for. 

This is all part of the Pipers Farm philosophy and we are proud that we have been unwavering in our commitment to it for 30 years. 

Although there is no certification which covers the breadth of what Pipers Farm stands for, we are totally transparent about every detail of what we stand for and why. We welcome any questions from our customers who want to understand exactly what we do and why.

Shop Pipers Farm

Grass Fed Beef
All our award-winning, grass-fed beef is Red Ruby, a slow-growing breed native to Exmoor. Our Red Ruby cattle are 100% grass-fed for their entire lives and slowly grown until they naturally reach maturity at around 31-36 months old. Slow growing native breeds and farming ...
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Saddleback Pork
Our Saddleback pigs are properly farrow and live outside for their entire lives. They lead an active, outdoor life, spending their time happily grazing, foraging, rooting and wallowing just like pigs should. This means their meat has a distinctive, rich flavour and a fant...
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Grass Fed Lamb
All our Suffolk lamb is 100% grass-fed for their entire lives. Grown slowly to around 8-15 months, our lamb and hogget are grown until they reach maturity naturally. We hang all of our lamb on the bone for three weeks to develop the full, rich, sweet flavour we are known ...
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Properly Free Range Chicken
There are few things in life more welcoming than the scent of a roast chicken, it has to be the ultimate comfort food, the sort of food that brings people together around the table. Our Properly Free Range chickens are the reason Peter and Henri founded the farm almost...
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Properly Free Range Duck
Our Properly Free Range Ducks are a heritage breed designed to grow slowly. We rear our ducks in small groups with complete freedom to roam outside with plenty of space to forage amongst our Devon pasture, displaying their natural instincts. At night our raft of...
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Free Range Bronze Turkey
Our traditional Bronze Turkeys live a properly free-range life, living significantly longer than most other free-range and organic birds, they hatch in late spring and spend their first three weeks snuggled under a brooder to let them grow the feathers that will protect ...
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Parkland Venison
Our herd of fallow and red deer are raised in the stunning grounds of one of Devon's most picturesque estates. Our venison is simply sensational to eat because we allow our deer to grow slowly so they reach maturity. Their diet consists of ancient parkland grass, mas...
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Saddleback Bacon
Our bacon comes from our native breed Saddleback pigs, slow-grown to reach natural maturity. We cure our bacon using a traditional method of brining, then air-drying. Our range of oak smoked bacon is cold-smoked for a minimum of 24 hours over fresh oak chips. With a beaut...
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Natural Burgers
At Pipers Farm we make real food with the simplest, all natural ingredients. Just like the way we farm - in harmony with nature, we only use the finest all natural whole foods and traditional techniques. Our natural burgers are made by hand on the farm. Gluten-free and f...
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Natural Sausages
At Pipers Farm we make real food with the simplest, all natural ingredients. We believe our sausages to be unique. Handmade on the farm using the finest, totally natural ingredients; our award-winning Saddleback pork shoulder, gluten-free oats, fresh herbs, sea salt, gr...
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At Pipers Farm we celebrate nose to tail eating, never wasting any part of the animal we have lovingly grown. Our pure offal is perfect pan-fried, turned into a terrine, or as part of a delicious a pie. Offal is often referred to as a ‘superfood’ because of its recognis...
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