Shoppers shocked to find the Union Flag on food does not mean it's British

UK - Shoppers are shocked that the Union Flag on a label doesn't necessarily mean the contents are British, says Frances Slade, chairman of Ladies In Pigs.
calendar icon 2 September 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.

In a survey of 260 shoppers over 70 percent indicated they were unhappy that such misleading labelling went unchallenged by the authorities.

The survey, which will be repeated and updated as Ladies In Pig tour the country promoting pork, found that 65 percent of shoppers actively try and buy British pork.

In trying to identify which pork is British and which is imported, 9 percent look for the British Meat Quality Standard Mark, 18 percent look for the Little Red Tractor, 16 percent look for the Union Flag, 24 percent go by what is written on the label, 10 percent go to an independent butcher, 20 percent don't bother, and 3 percent find it 'difficult' to know.

The survey emphasised the popularity of pork and pork products. Over 93 percent of those questioned buy pork, 98 percent buy bacon, 98 percent buy ham and 92 percent buy sausages.

'We will be continuing the survey during the rest of our activities this year,' says Frances Slade. 'It is a great opportunity to talk to members of the public and will add more impetus to the NPA's new labelling leaflet "How to buy British pork".'

Do you buy...?
Pork 93%
Bacon 98%
Ham 98%
Sausages 92%

Above: People who were interviewed for tranche one of the ongoing LIPS survey shop mainly at Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's.

Do you actively try and buy British?
Yes 65%
No 30%
Sometimes 3%
Try to 2

Above: Shoppers were asked how they attempted to identify pork as being British as opposed to imported.

Where do you buy your pork?
Independent butcher 30 percent
Supermarket 62 percent
Farmers' market 8 percent
How do you know you are buying British?
Quality Standard Mark 9
Little Red Tractor 18
Union Flag 16
Labels 24
Independent butcher 10
Don't 20
Difficult 3
Do you recognise..?
The Quality Standard mark 79 percent YES
The Little Red Tractor 64 percent YES

Source: National Pig Association - 1st September 2003
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