Tweet taste of success

Hand-made sausages:Husband and wife team Karen and Stephen Thompson at Povey farm
Hand-made sausages:Husband and wife team Karen and Stephen Thompson at Povey farm
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As Twitter celebrated its fifth birthday this week, a Sheffield pig farm was raising its glass.

Thanks to its tweets on the social media phenomenon, it has attracted a new customer a week since Christmas – and won itself a worldwide claim to fame.

Sausages hand-made by Moss Valley Fine Meats at Povey Farm in Norton now bear the prestigious Made in Sheffield logo.

“We are the only sausage producer in the world to have it – and that’s thanks to Twitter too,” says farmer Stephen Thompson. “We tweeted with Sheffield ice cream-makers Our Cow Molly. They have the hallmark and encouraged us to follow suit.”

None of it was down to Stephen and wife Karen’s marketing strategy, though. “We only joined Twitter when the ash cloud left us stranded in Singapore last year. It was a good way of getting the latest information. We didn’t bother with it again until December, when we discovered a Sheffield foodie was following us.”

The Thompsons started tweeting and orders flooded in for sausages, bacon and pork joints. The Bar and Grill in Leopold Square, PJ Taste, the Deli at Totley and Sheffield’s Street Food Chefs company are new customers and they meet with the Wortley Arms this week.

“You would not believe how many local chefs and foodies are on Twitter. We’ve got 180 followers,” says Stephen, taking a break from making 3,000 sausages to sell at this week’s city farmers’ markets.

The Thompsons set up Moss Valley in 2006 as an offshoot of their long-established pig farm, which supplies most of its 2,000 White Landraces to Tesco, Now up to four of their Durocs, a U.S. derivative of a 19th century rare British breed, end up as speciality meats and 22 varieties of sausage - including date, apple, ginger and pork at £3 a pack.

Currently, the Thompsons have plenty to tweet about. Last month their bangers won national gold awards in a British Pig Executive taste competition. They got gold for their pork shoulder in the National Catering Awards this month, as did The York in Broomhill, the city gastro pub they supply. And as this week’s National Bacon Week dawned, they heard their succulent hand-cured had also won gold.