Douglas region to ham it up this Christmas


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Shane Beattie at his Sunnyville Free Range Pasture Pig farm in the Atherton Tablelands. IMAGE: Supplied.

FROM the paddock to the plate. It’s Christmas 2017 and many Far North Queenslanders have made the change from the traditional turkey to ham and the Sunnyville Free Range Pastured Pig farm has already sold out on its quota for the season.

Sunnyville is a small rotational free range farm located on the lush volcanic soils of the Atherton Tablelands and, thanks to its unique breeding and caring of their pigs, they are able to provide outstanding flavours in their meat.

Owner Shane Beattie, who farms with his father John, started receiving orders for Christmas hams in September and by the end of November had sold more than 40 hams, some weighing as much as eight kilograms.

“There is a huge demand for free range ham. The consumer is more aware nowadays of how food is treated and this has made our product extremely popular. As we are a small farm, we are limited in terms of our quantity and the number of sows we are allowed,” said Shane.

In Port Douglas, Malones Butchery’s Sam Rogers says ham is also more popular than turkey for Christmas. In fact, he is predicting he will sell at least a ton of ham this year.

“Price is not an issue and some people will spend $200 on ham so we are looking forward to a bumper season,” he said.

From birth to final finishing stage, all Sunnyville Pigs live in large pastured paddocks that are rotationally grazed. The paddocks are rooted up and fertilized by the pigs before being replanted to return them to the lush and productive pasture that helps create their naturally delicious flavour.      

“We are also unique in that our pigs are free from hormones, promoters and antibiotics. They have enriched grain, fed vitamins and benefit from other factors such as enjoying the natural outdoor climate, they are free from fear and distress and are protected from predators,” said Shane.

And what will the Rogers household be eating this Christmas: “Ham, prawns, smoked salmon, mud crabs, turkey and chicken.”

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Looking to order a special ham or any other product this Christmas? Call 07 4099 4001 or visit Malones Butchery in Port Douglas.

What will you be eating this festive season? Let us know in the comments below!

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