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BPEX chairman slates supermarkets over "illegal pork"

by 5m Editor
30 August 2004, at 12:00am

UK - BPEX chairman Stewart Houston went head-to-head with the British Retail Consortium on national radio this morning - as high-welfare British pigs continue to back up on farms, shunned by supermarkets in favour of thousands of tonnes of cheap foreign pork, some of it of uncertain provenance.

National
Pig
Association

National Pig Association
THE VOICE OF THE UK PIG INDUSTRY

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers - fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

Pigs are still confined in small two foot wide cages, except in Britain and Sweden, where the low-welfare practice has been banned, he told Radio Four's Farming Today audience. Seventy percent of the pork coming into Britain was produced in a way that would be illegal in this country.

He called on retailers to support the high welfare British pig industry, and to stop palming off foreign pork packaged to look like British pork.

Richard Ali, of the British Retail Consortium said he felt "great sympathy" for British pig farmers but supermarkets were doing nothing illegal in importing pork that was produced legally elsewhere in Europe. Likewise, he said, it would be illegal for the British government to ban the import of pork from the continent, even if it was produced under different conditions.

Richard Ali said, "There are people out there for whom the welfare requirements are not foremost in their minds and it would be wrong to deny them a choice." Responding to Stewart Houston's criticisms of tertiary brands, he claimed there were only a few and they were there for the benefit of the eight percent of consumers who were not concerned about the welfare credentials of the pork they were buying.

To listen to Radio Four's Farming Today show, dated 26th August, please click here (Real Audio Player required)

Source: Ian Campbell - National Pig Association - 30th August 2004

5m Editor