Food organisations pledge to avoid illegal pork
Published:  15 June, 2012

Pig industry leaders have welcomed a commitment from Britain’s major food organisations that they will not sell pork from farms that fail to meet next year’s European partial stalls ban deadline.

The pledge was made at an industry stakeholder meeting with food minister Jim Paice and follows months of campaigning by the British pig industry to prevent imported pork from illegal farms appearing in British supermarkets and resturants.

National Pig Association (NPA) chairman Richard Longthorp said, “It is great news that every organisation has confirmed its members will use only meat from legal pig farms”.

Among the organisations represented at the meeting were the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the Food and Drink Federation, the Provision Trade Federation, the British Hospitality Association, the Danish Agriculture and Food Council and the British Meat Processors Association.

During the meeting, the BRC raised concerns about a repeat of the sharp price rises that followed the introduction of Europe’s battery cage ban in January this year and the NPA assured that British producers would be ready to prevent price rises for consumers by providing any additional pork required, but said that they needed a commitment from retailers.

Stewart Houston, chairman of the Bpex, said the industry would now discuss the various pledges that had been made in more detail, to ensure they will be honored.

The European Commission fears as many as a third of continental pig producers will be unable to meet the 1 January 2013 deadline for getting sows out of stalls. In Britain, where pig producers conform to higher welfare standards, stalls have been wholly banned for 13 years.

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