NPA Backs British Farming15 August 2013
UK - Everyone will win if Britain’s pig farmers, with their uniquely high standards of husbandry, are encouraged to gently expand and reduce the nation’s yawning balance of trade gap in pork and pork products, according to the National Pig Association (NPA).
The association is throwing its weight behind the Back British Farming Charter launched yesterday (14 August) by the National Farmers Union, which calls for shoppers, food companies and politicians to help reverse the decline in the nation’s food self-sufficiency.
"Around 60 per cent of the pork products we eat in this country — including bacon, sausages and ham — are imported through sometimes tortuous supply chains," said NPA general manager Zoe Davies.
"With a bit of encouragement, our pig farmers could be persuaded to gently step up production and the whole country will benefit as a result."
British pig farmers delight their customers in many ways:
EATING QUALITY — Most pig farm staff receive continuous specialist training in how to ensure the animals they look after are stress-free, which in turn means tender, better-tasting pork.
SHORTER SUPPLY CHAINS — Food companies selling British pork and pork products can trace their products back to their farms of origin, giving consumers added confidence in the food they buy.
REAL WELFARE — Over 90 per cent of British pigs benefit from quarterly visits by specialist pig vets, who check and record a range of welfare indicators recommended by animal scientists.
COUNTRYSIDE ECONOMICS — Pig farms make a huge contribution to the countryside as they employ more staff than many forms of agriculture and are also significant users of local trades and suppliers.
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS — In many parts of Britain pig farms have all but disappeared, so there is plenty of scope for the nation to reduce its dependance on imports of the world’s favourite meat.
FOOD SAFETY — The recent Horsegate scandal showed that consumers cannot always trust convoluted supply chains from overseas suppliers and that short local supply chains are best.
FOOD SECURITY — Most forecasters see global food supplies tightening over the years ahead and the time will come when Britain has to rely much more on its own food resources, just as it had to during the Second World War.
A recent One Poll survey has revealed that 78 per cent of consumers want supermarkets to stock more British food.
"As an industry we have had a challenging decade but the realisation has dawned that as a nation we can’t simply go around the world chasing the cheapest deal for our food," according to NFU president Peter Kendall.
"So, instead we need to look closer to home. Right across the board farmers have a fantastic natural capacity to produce more British food, given the right market signals and the confidence to invest."
ThePigSite News Desk