AVOID DISHONEST LABELS

Stewart Houston, chairman, British Pig Executive and National Pig Association urges retailers to be clear on their labelling.

As the trade gears up for the festive season once again, there is a great opportunity to entice more consumers into buying premium variants of fresh food.

In no categories is this more true than bacon, gammon and ham, where multiple retailers and independent butchers alike can exploit their consumers' propensity to trade up at this time of year.

My personal plea is that the trade can capitalise on this sales opportunity without having to resort to dishonest and misleading labelling.

It remains the case that two-thirds of imported pig meat would be illegal if it was produced on Britain farms. So let's have clear country-of-origin labelling on the front of packs wherever it is possible.

Let's also avoid the possibility of consumers being misled by

the use of, for instance, different curing descriptions. For example, the term 'Wiltshire cure', without additional origin information, could confuse consumers as to the origin of the meat.

BPEX and the NPA will be collaborating to conduct a special 'GammonWatch' survey during December and we will be publicising the results in the New Year. I look forward to sharing them with the industry.

In the meantime, I wish every MTJ reader a successful festive season trading period.

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