"Acid Test" on hold

UK - National Pig Association has put its "Acid Test" initiative on hold because it fears supermarkets have withdrawn from the Curry vision of a sustainable food and farming industry in Britain.
calendar icon 22 July 2003
clock icon 3 minute read
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NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & White-hall, and with pro-cessors, supermarkets & caterers – fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

The pig industry promised in its Acid Test report launched spring 2002 to do everything in its power to make the Curry report work.

In the report, which was warmly welcomed by government, it argued the unsubsidised pig industry with its short supply chain and its close links with customers was ideally placed to translate the Curry vision into reality.

It warned that the stakes were high; the pig sector was the ideal model for Curry and if Curry couldn't work for pigs it wouldn't work for other less market-led farming sectors.

"Acid Test 2" - the pig industry's progress report - was due to be presented to government later this year but has been put on hold because several leading supermarkets have abandoned the concept of a sustainable supply chain.

"They have stopped working with us and started bringing in huge quantities of imported pork that doesn't comply with the UK Specification," said NPA executive director Stewart Houston, who has devoted the past nine months to improving relationships with the leading retailers.

"Acid Test" author Digby Scott said that up to a few weeks ago there had been good developments and a positive trend to report to government concerning pig producers' work with retailers.

There was a more productive relationship between producers and processors and following Stewart Houston's considerable diplomatic efforts there were hopes that retailers were seriously buying into the Curry concept of a sustainable supply chain.

"But now its been put at risk for the sake of a quick feeding frenzy on cheap imported pork that for the most part doesn't comply with the UK Specification. Rather than write-off Acid Test we are putting it on hold in the hope that something can be retrieved in due course."

Source: National Pig Association - By Digby Scott - 22nd July 2003

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