The Ultimate Joint is a farm and butchery in Rickinghall on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, with rare breed pigs. During lockdown there have been more enquiries about weaners and gilts for people to raise their own pigs. The price of feed has gone up, spurring them on their original plans to plant more trees for their pigs to run through so they can be more pasture fed.
With demand going up, more time is being spent in the butchery than the farm as employee, Irene who is over 70, has been furloughed, and the extended family have helped with extra work. Although some local markets closed,Rickinghall Vineyard Farmers Market turned into a pick up point with deliveries made to vulnerable people in the village on the way back from the Market. Customers have been supportive, buying leftovers and, before buying, asking if there is anyone more in need of certain produce . Opening times have become more flexible so orders are spread out and, to avoid entering the butchery, customers can choose their produce and pay contactless through 2 small windows. When we return to normal PPE (protective equipment and screens) will be put in place.
Megan from the Ultimate Joint said, “Hopefully people will keep coming to us especially now they can see how good it is to buy free range – never had so many compliments on people saying how wonderful their food is so it really makes us feel like we are going in the right direction and we’re doing things properly, keeping our customers safe at the same time. Despite the fact that it is really horrible out there it does feel great to have that support and to know that people will keep coming back to us when it’s all over”
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