UK Consumers Want British Pork

UK - A new survey has found the majority of shoppers want supermarkets to sell pork from British farms, despite a glut of cheap foreign pork caused by turmoil in Ukraine.
calendar icon 3 March 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

Over 80 per cent say supermarkets should continue to stock high levels of British meat to maintain consumer confidence following the 2013 Horsegate scandal, according to YouGov research released today by the National Pig Association.

Since August, when Russia imposed an embargo on European Union meat in retaliation for sanctions over Ukraine, there has been a glut of pork on the continent. But British shoppers are keen for supermarkets to stick to their post-Horsegate commitments to stop importing not-so-easily-traced foreign pork, and to major on pork from British pig farms, says NPA.

The YouGov research found:

  • 81 per cent of shoppers who buy meat want supermarkets to continue stocking a high level of British meat to maintain consumer confidence.

  • 65 per cent believe importing more European pork not produced under food assurance schemes like Red Tractor could increase risk of another Horsegate style scandal.

  • Only 19 per cent want more cheaper European pork imports to keep down prices.

“Consumers have always been loyal to British pig farmers, particularly after Horsegate, but even we have been surprised by this significant vote of confidence in the quality of our pork, bacon, sausages and ham,” said NPA chairman Richard Longthorp, who farms in East Yorkshire.

“This research suggests supermarkets are delighting shoppers by sticking to their Horsegate promises to sell more British meat, despite the current provocation of a mountain of cheap meat piling up in continental cold stores.”

NPA chief executive Dr Zoe Davies said: “The quality and taste of domestic pork and pork products is underpinned by the high welfare methods of British pig farms. Nearly half our pigs spend some of their lives outdoors, over 90 per cent are covered by the independently-audited Red Tractor quality assurance scheme and almost a third are also inspected by RSPCA for its Freedom Food animal welfare label.

“This YouGov research shows shoppers are in no doubt that supermarket commitments following Horsegate to source more British meat have played an important role in restoring confidence in the meat on supermarket shelves.”

NPA has particular praise for the British pork “hundred-percenters” as identified by the industry's most recent Porkwatch survey, namely Waitrose, M&S, Budgens, the Co-op, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, and hard discounters Aldi and Lidl.

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