Farro Food Hero: Woody’s Free Range Farm
Woody’s Free Range Farm, nestled in the foothills of the Tararua Range, produces a delicious range of pork products from heritage pigs that have lived a happy, healthy life outdoors.
It’s the brainchild of Daniel Todd who left behind a successful electronics career in the UK and Australia, and moved with his Kiwi wife to New Zealand in 2012, setting up the Manakau farm, just outside of Levin.
“I felt inspired to do something different and knew there was an appetite for ethically-raised, free-range pork. So we set up Woody’s with heritage breeds which thrive outdoors and roam happily every day, moving from pasture to pasture,” says Daniel.
“The provenance of our meat is very important to us. Customers are increasingly aware of what they are eating and want to know which farm their meat comes from and that it is truly free-range.”
Despite having no farming background, Daniel applied his business acumen, can-do attitude and passion for animal welfare and began working 12-hour plus days, seven days a week on the farm, taking care of the pigs.
“I was spending so much time feeding and looking after the pigs that there wasn’t much time leftover for anything else. After a couple of years, it was clear that unless we upsized the farm, we wouldn’t be able to make a profit. So we decided to partner with our neighbouring farm, Longbush, to raise the majority of our pigs, allowing us to expand our factory and butchery.”
This happy partnership means Daniel down-sized his own herd to just under 100 heritage pigs, splitting his time between the farm and the butchery – designing recipes, developing new products, and working on the packaging and marketing of his meats.
“My favourite sausages are the Chorizo Verde (it’s packed with so much coriander and capsicum), the Kawakawa, the Ginger & Orange, the Stout & Spice and the Cumberland. All our sausages and salamis have lovely big chunks of meat in them – customers can really taste the difference and can’t get enough of them.
“In the winter, I enjoy eating sausages with mashed potato but right now in the summertime, I love serving them up with a mixed green salad,” says Daniel.
“I also love charcuterie and with the expanded factory and butchery, we’ve been able to develop some fantastic new products.”
Woody’s range of free-range meats are available in all Farro stores now!