Misleading gammon labelling to be “named and shamed” this Christmas

Retailers not supporting Britain’s high-welfare pig farmers this Christmas season can expect to be named and shamed by the National Pig Association (NPA).  

Those that put in a bulk Christmas order from countries with lower animal welfare standards, or provide misleadingly labelled gammons, will be made known to the public.

“In addition to carrying out our own checks, we are asking shoppers to check gammon labels carefully this Christmas to ensure the product they buy is made from cured British leg of pork, and not from imported pork that has only been cured in Britain,” said NPA chairman Richard Lister.

NPA’s Christmas GammonWatch campaign is conducting surveys across the country, with their findings being reportedly published in weekly bulletins until Christmas.

“If our prices fall any further we will see more pig farmers freezing all investment in new buildings next year and others quitting altogether, and either route will be a serious blow to an industry that is known the world over for its high-welfare, high-quality product.”

According to NPA, only 30% of gammon available on the market during the festive season is British, this is despite there being plentiful supply from producers.

Dr Zoe Davies, NPA chief executive, believes the British public will be willing to pay extra for high-quality products: “We know from successive surveys that customers prefer to buy British pork and pork products even if it costs a penny or two more for the extra quality we offer,” she said. “This is especially true since horsegate in 2013 when most retailers sought to reassure customers by promising to stock more British meat.”

NPA’s Christmas GammonWatch will also include a special PorkWatch survey in December. PorkWatch is the industry’s bi-monthly survey of British pork, bacon, ham, sausage and, as of next month, gammon facings in supermarkets.

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