Top chefs support British pig farmers

by 5m Editor
6 September 2004, at 12:00am

UK - Some of Britain's best know TV chefs, including Antony Worrall Thompson, Brian Turner, Phil Vickery, James Martin and John Torode, are backing a campaign against pork imports that fail to comply with British animal welfare standards.


National Pig Association

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.

Seventy percent of all imports of pork, bacon and processed pork products would be illegal to produce in this country, according to a report BPEX report. This is of particular concern, given the 14 percent rise in imports of pigmeat last year. Imports now account for 58 percent of all pork, bacon and processed products consumed in the UK.

Brian Turner
said: "British farmers and consu-mers have worked extremely hard to achieve the wonderful quality of meats we are now getting in this country and that carry the Quality Standard Mark. As a chef I feel that now is the time for these standards to be adopted as the minimum requirement for meat produced in this country or any other country from whom we import meat."

Antony Worrall-Thompson said: "In Britain we have some of the best meat available - and we have a duty to support our own farmers. I have a penchant for decent pork and try and source the best quality meat from British producers to serve in our restaurant. I think it's really important that we as consumers actively support the UK's higher standards by choosing to buy British and looking out for the Quality Standard Mark".

A recent TNS carried out for BPEX shows consumers are overwhelmingly concerned about the lack of consistent quality assurance. Ninety-two percent feel imported meat should be produced to standards that are equivalent to the UK.

British pig farmers have vowed to support the campaign in the form of the nationwide initiative PorkWatch, a bi-monthly survey of supermarkets carried out by the farmers, to identify which retailers are performing best and worst in stocking pork, bacon and ham produced to minimum UK standards.

Phil Vickery said: "About 12 years ago I made the stand, professionally and personally, not to buy any imported meats especially pork, purely because we need to support our own farmers and infrastructure. I'm all for backing the UK's stand on rearing and feeding pork, carefully and humanely, this process also, let's not forget, produces better flavour."

John Torode said: "Since the opening of Smiths I have had the pleasure of meeting more and more British farmers as this is where I believe we should all be sourcing our meat. This country produces some of the best pork in the world, why would you not want to buy home grown? Eat British, eat pork, love a sausage from the Home Counties and get your teeth into British pork, not that foreign stuff".

James Martin said: "I for one think that British pork is fantastic and I always seek it out. So I would encourage everyone to look out for the Quality Standard Mark when shopping for pork - be it sausages, bacon, ham or a good old roasting joint. It's not only the animals that benefit with a better standard of welfare, British farmers benefit too and they need all our support whenever we can give it".

TV's most famous pig farmer, Jimmy Doherty, who is also supporting the campaign said: "We have a great tradition of fine food in Britain and this is reflected through our higher quality standards for pork and tougher stance on animal welfare. I'm all for the Quality Standard Mark as it will hopefully encourage people to buy British and support some of the great produce in this country".

Source:National Pig Association - 6th September 2004

5m Editor