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100 years of family farming

Throughout 2022 marks a huge milestone for the Mercer family, we are celebrating 100 years of family farming in the Staffordshire area. We believe this milestone is ultimately down to our simple philosophy; what’s good for the lands and animals, will naturally be good for our customers.

It’s this simple philosophy that enables us to produce the most succulent, richly flavoured meat, often lost in today’s intensive farming methods – Bringing back the Best.

“We believe our family run farming business has prospered over the last 100 years as a direct result of the three watchwords that stand as pillars of our operation and that help set us apart. It’s our relentless drive for passion, respect and excellence that has allowed us and the generations before us to grow and flourish into the business we are today.”

– Alec Mercer

100 years of family farming Timeline

Because they are fourth generation farmers, The Mercers’ believe in farming in a way that increases regeneration and biodiversity. All having a positive impact on the land and on the animals.

“We are passionate about provenance, and sustainable and ethical farming. These values drive our work to create an environmentally sound and welfare-orientated farm. Leaving a legacy for our children is very important to us. We have been farming these lands for 100 years and we hope to do so for generations to come.”

– Rob Mercer

  • Percy Mercer started the family farm in 1922 at Manor Farm in Harlaston, Staffordshire. His focus was on dairy cattle and pedigree Large White pigs.
  • It was Alec Mercer, 2nd generation, who expanded into arable farming and pigs at Wychnor Bridges in 1952.
  • 3rd generation, Roger Mercer acquired Blakenhall Park in 1976, which today is home to our head office and delivery hub.
  • Alec & Rob Mercer, the 4th generation, established Packington Free Range in 2005 and have become industry leaders in the free-range pork and poultry industry.

100 years of family farming Family 1 100 years of family farming newspaper 100 years of family farming Family 2

Packington pigs and chickens are given large, green and lush pastures to roam, and time to mature. This is not only best for the animals’ welfare, but it also results in first class meat. A fact recognised not only by their customers and numerous industry awards but also by celebrity chefs. ‘The Hairy Bikers’ acknowledged the caring ethos of the company and described Packington Free Range chickens as “some of the happiest in Britain!”.

Packington 100 years family farming Hairy Bikers

Founded in 1922, Packington Free Range is a leader when it comes to free-range meat and ethical farming. Our chicken and pork products can be found in butchers and farm shops nationwide, as well as via Ocado and on our own website – where we deliver chicken all year round as well as ever popular free-range Cockerels at Christmas and Easter.

Watch our video HERE to see more about Packington Free Range.

It’s not just about the sales

But it’s not just about the sales, Packington Free Range have invested a lot of time, effort and funds into environmental projects and supporting the community.  For instance, over the last decade, we’ve planted more than 100,000 new trees, including orchards to encourage birds and wildlife. All the fields have buffer margins to protect the wildlife, and wild seeds are planted to help with biodiversity. In addition, throughout the last 10 years, we have also installed over 2.5mw of solar panels. Which is enough to power over 660 homes per year, and has reduced our carbon footprint to almost zero.

Tree Planting at Patshull Estate Wildflower Meadow Packington Tree Planting Packington Free Range Flood Meadows

“Our community is incredibly important to us, and we support many local & national initiatives, including community, health and education groups. We run our own education project, where schools visit our farm and learn about the whole food to fork journey.”

– Roger Mercer


The family also runs three charities;

Farm Fresh Revolution our mission is to encourage and educate families and children about healthy eating. We currently have a successful partnership with 8 primary schools, 2 community centres and a community kitchen, all within the county of Staffordshire. We’ve given away over 40,000 food bags – that’s almost 500,000 meals. READ MORE

Packington Farm Fresh Charity Stall

FarmLink Education Project where children can visit the farm to take part in outdoor activities. This can include pond dipping, scavenger walks, feed animals and learning in our woodland classroom. During winter months, our dedicated educator, Jules, visits schools to lead in class sessions – both help children to get a real sense of the whole farm to fork experience. Apx 30,000 children have taken part in the Education project over the last 7 years READ MORE

Famlink outdoor classroom Packington Education project St Wystans classroom

Mercer Family Charitable Foundation, which supports local and national issues, focusing on education, healthcare and community. The charity has supported Rainbows Hospice, MS Society, Riding for the Disabled to name just a few READ MORE

Mercer Family Charitable Foundation RDA Mercer Family Charitable Foundation - Rainbows 3

Thank you

We’d like to take this opportunity to Thank all our loyal customers. Thank you for caring about the animals and products you eat and where they come from and choosing Packington Free Range ensuring free-range over intensive animal farming. Thank you for caring about the environment and helping us to help farm in an ethical and sustainable way. And thank you for supporting four generations of family farming.

“Our mission is a simple one, to be ethical, sustainable, have total provenance and to continue to grow our excellent reputation and longstanding trust with our customers and community.”

Happy and Healthy, Always!

00 years Packington Family Farming