Welcome - Croeso
Meet the Team - Andrew & Liz Baker, founders of The Baker's Pig - Welsh Charcuterie and Smokehouse. They are passionate, self-confessed foodies who have transformed their love of pigs, wellies and the great outdoors to create a successful farm-to-fork food business. They create a delicious range of award winning air-dried, fermented and smoked meats on their farm, located on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Andrew & Liz first started keeping Berkshire pigs nearly 30 years ago when they moved into a small rented farm in West Wales. Andrew says "Our main reason for moving to the countryside was to escape the bustle of the city and look for a better quality of life". Andrew & Liz reared free-range, Berkshire pork on the farm, grew their own vegetables and collected the chickens eggs. Life really was sweet, if not a little chaotic. Work commitments took them both away from pig keeping and out of Wales for a short while. After several job moves they settled back in South Wales and lived in Swansea. Liz says "We lived in a three storey townhouse with a garden around 10 foot square, before moving to an 11 acre ramshackled farm in Upper Brynamman".
Andrew and Liz bought Ty'r Cwm farm in 2011. Over the past seven years they have both worked hard to re-instate a traditional farmhouse property that dates back almost 200 years. Once owned by the Amman Valley Iron Company, Ty'r Cwm farm can be found nestled at the base of the Black Mountain. Although the land had not been farmed since the mid 1970's, local residents still have very fond memories of it as a traditional working farm. Andrew says “We have received help and advice from neighbouring farms to bring the land back into good order. Today, we are committed to running the farm using sustainable farming methods.”
At the heart of it all is a commitment to use rare-breed livestock to ensure the continued survival of national heritage breeds for future generations. Andrew says “The use of rare-breed, free-range meats provides us with the highest quality primary produce from which we create our traditionally crafted, artisan foods. Knowing where your food comes from, i.e. food provenance, is becoming increasingly important to consumers, as is the demand for quality over quantity”.
In addition to developing and sustaining local food production, Liz and Andrew source complementary ingredients that boost regional identity and help create truly unique welsh produce. They source their wild venison from Dinefwr Country Park to produce their authentic Italian-style cacciatore salami.
Their charcuterie business started off as a hobby. Liz says “We would stuff the sausages on the kitchen table before hanging them up in the front room to ferment. Then we'd transfer them into bird cages and hang them outside in the trees for several weeks to dry”. Fortunately, the first couple of attempts were a success, otherwise they might have given up. Andrew and Liz decided if they were going to produce charcuterie that was guaranteed safe to eat they needed to do their research. Andrew read all the books on the subject and trawled the internet for information on fermenting and drying meats.
In 2014 Andrew enrolled on a curing and smoking course at the School of Artisan Food in Nottinghamshire. Shortly after, they decided to head up to the Food Centre Wales, Horeb to take advantage of their technical expertise to scale up from the domestic kitchen to full-scale food manufacturing.
In 2016 the Baker’s Pig received a 5-Star Food Hygiene rating from the environmental health and they began selling their first salami at a local Farmers Market. Today they manufacture a range of award winning charcuterie products in their purpose built production facility on the farm.