UK - Shoppers are being urged to check their gammon really is British this Christmas — and to beware of misleadingly labelled product, from countries with lower animal welfare standards.
In a bid to halt tumbling farm-gate prices, struggling British pig farmers have launched Christmas GammonWatch — a new campaign to name and shame retailers that fail to provide customers with a choice of genuine British high-welfare, farm-assured gammon.
In previous years many retailers, and restaurants, have relied on cheap imported pork, which has been cured in Britain and has then been legally, but misleadingly, labelled as “Produced in the United Kingdom”.
Typically only 30 percent of gammons for the festive market are British, despite there being a plentiful supply from domestic producers. The National Pig Association is determined this must change, particularly when many producers are sliding into the red.
"If retailers want the convenience of a thriving British pig sector on their doorstep, producing reliable supplies 52 weeks of the year of a quality-assured, traceable, high-welfare product, then it's essential they make a special effort to support British pig farmers over the Christmas period,” said NPA chairman Richard Lister.
A year ago the industry’s Standard Pig Price stood at 151p a kilo and today it is down to below 127p, and still falling. Taking all costs into consideration, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board sees current break-even price for producers at around 139p.
The main problem for British producers is the strength of sterling against the euro, which is making cheap imports from the continent more than usually attractive to retailers and foodservice.
ThePigSite News Desk