Record high for sales of imported meat

UK - Meat imports have soared to a new high after one of the worst years on record for British farmers.
calendar icon 21 December 2007
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British shoppers have bought even more beef, lamb and pork from abroad this year than in 2006 – pushing the total amount of foreign meat purchased to an all-time high.

The figures are particularly worrying for the farming industry after 12 months struggling with foot and mouth, bluetongue, bird flu and the summer's devastating floods. Campaigners last night called on shoppers to support farmers this Christmas.

In the past nine months red meat imports have risen by two per cent on the corresponding period of 2006 to 803,000 tonnes.

The UK imported 95,496 tonnes of sheep meat – up by over 4,000 tonnes on last year – and fresh pig-meat imports rose to 332,739 tonnes from 329,362 tonnes last year. Beef imports also increased by almost 4,000 tonnes to 176,289 tonnes.

Last year shoppers bought a staggering 1.1m tonnes of foreign pork, beef and lamb, but the overall figure for 2007 looks on target to be higher than ever. This is despite the fact that poultry imports were down by four per cent in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period last year.

Source: Yorkshirepost
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