Retailers win out against foodservice on public trust for British meat

Supermarkets have stolen a march on restaurants and fast food chains when it comes to gaining public trust, due to a policy of sourcing more British meat, according to new data.

A YouGov survey commissioned by Bpex revealed that nearly 70% of shoppers trust the meat they buy in supermarkets either a lot or a fair amount, as opposed to only 58% trusting the meat they are served in restaurants, and 17% in fast food outlets.

The National Pig Association (NPA) said this was due to retailers selling more domestically produced meat and promoting the fact that it was British on-pack.

“Since horsegate in 2013, supermarkets have worked hard to restore trust by sourcing more British meat and labelling the fact clearly, and their strategy is obviously working,” explained National Pig Association chairman Richard Lister.

He added: “If foodservice companies want the public to trust them to a similar degree, the answer is staring them in the face. They should copy the retailers and serve British meat instead of imported meat from continental cold stores.”

The pig organisation claimed that many foodservice outlets already had a British-only rule for their fresh pork, but were not publicising it. “That’s crazy,” said NPA chief executive Dr Zoe Davies.

“All the evidence shows customers want British meat because they trust its provenance and its quality, and they are even prepared to pay a bit more for it, just as they do in supermarkets.

“So when restaurants and fast-food outlets make a point of sourcing British, they should always say so on their menus and in their advertising, and if they do, their customers will respond positively.”

The NPA is also running a ‘Keep-It-Up!’ campaign, which applauds retailer loyalty to British pork, “at a time when cheap continental pork has created a 30p-a-kilo gap between British and European Union prices”. The organisation especially commended the ‘hundred-percenters’ – Aldi, Budgens, The Co-op, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose – which source only British fresh pork.

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