So, What Is Up With Our Pork?
Last week we discussed transparency and the importance of being authentic!
This week we'll follow up with an example of transparency and why this matters to many of our customers.
So, what is up with our pork? To be fully transparent means I'll need to disclose issues that affect the quality of our product as well as customer expectations. Here goes!
As many of you know, our pork is processed at Attala Frozen Foods in Kosciusko, MS. We started doing business with them in 2016 after Cascio decided to close his business and we were moving into selling more than custom half & whole beef & pork.
So, we have been doing business with them for some time.
Since February of this year we have delivered eight pigs per month to Attala and have experienced significant quality and service issues to include:
1) Three months the bacon was not cured properly and about 10% spoiled. The first month this happened we notified customers to be aware of the problem and that we would refund or replace any spoiled bacon
2) Once, all the bacon was ground into sausage
3) One month they changed vacuum seal bags and our pork chops reacted to the plastic and spoiled. They did catch the problem and switched back mid processing. But, did not rework the ones that had already been sealed in the bad bags. Thus, some of these also was delivered to customers
4) The last processing all of the shoulder roast were left whole - meaning they are 12-13 pounds each. If you are looking for something different for Thanksgiving we can help you out. Just let me know!
5) Lastly, customer service is horrible! We all make mistakes. However, character is built on doing what you say and taking responsibility
Initially, when problems started we overlooked them because the owners wife was having medical issues that they were dealing with.
The problems have not been just with me. I've had four other farms call me about their issues.
It's really disappointing to put the time and expense as well as humane treatment into the pigs only to deliver them to a company that does not share your values.
So, we have implemented an interim solution. October 25th I delivered pigs to a processor in AL that I first meet at an Alan Savory event hosted by White Oak Pastures.
Matthew and his wife not only farm, but also operate a USDA beef, pork, and chicken processing plant located in Sylacauga, AL. This young couple has a tremendous amount of energy and passion for what they do.
Here is a review from one of their customers -"We had hogs processed with Marble City in October. By far the best processing experience we've had. The facility is incredibly clean and the cut options are superb. Best processing facility in the state!"
And, Matthew uses the same seasoning from the same supplier (which means ingredients are the same) that our customers are familiar with and enjoy.
First of next week I will travel back to AL and pickup our pork. Really looking forward some good bacon.
And the permanent solution? We ask that you join us in prayer about that. One thing is for sure, whichever he leads he will also provide the way.
Why does transparency matter?
I was reminded Thursday that even the smallest change can impact customers when Julie emailed to inquire about us moving our pork business. She explained that she has a child with a severe allergy to peanuts and other tree nuts and had to make sure our change would not affect the health of her child. Thanks for the reminder Julie!