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Don't Compromise on Quality at Xmas

by 5m Editor
30 November 2006, at 10:32am

UK - Fears are growing low welfare pig meat could be pouring into the country from abroad to meet the Christmas demand.

British Pig Executive

The festive season always sees a peak in the sales of gammon so the British Pig Executive (BPEX) and the National Pig Association (NPA) are launching a special 'GammonWatch'.

The programme is an extension of the existing PorkWatch which regularly checks the quantity of British pork and bacon on supermarket shelves. NPA Chairman Stewart Houston said: "We would ask all retailers to make sure their labelling conforms to Food Standards Agency (FSA) guidelines regarding country of origin.

"Many people buy gammon as a one-off at Christmas-time and they need to look carefully at labelling. They should look for the Quality Standard Mark to ensure the meat comes from high-welfare production systems. A report by BPEX showed two-thirds of the pig meat imported into the UK was produced under conditions which would be illegal here. This is unfair to UK pig farmers. We will be conducting a special 'GammonWatch' throughout December to monitor product labelling and we shall publish the results in the New Year."

Additional Information

PorkWatch is a bi-monthly monitoring programme involving auditors who visit more than 200 retail stores to check pork, bacon and ham. The QSM is applied to all pork, bacon and ham and sausages which have been independently audited and which conform to a series of whole-chain quality standards which incorporate high standards of animal welfare. Consumers wishing to check which products meet UK standards can go to www.lookforthemark.co.uk.

ThePigSite News Desk

5m Editor