Diners concerned over meat provenance

Diners are showing an increased interest in where their meat is sourced from in restaurants, according to the National Pig Association (NPA).

Historically, consumers were less interested in where their meat came from when eating out than they are when doing their food shop, said the NPA.

However, new research, commissioned by AHDB Pork, has shown that over 55% of those questioned said it was important to know where the meat they were served came from.

Traditionally foodservice hasnt been a great supporter of British pig farmers, said NPA chief executive Dr Zoe Davies.

Many outlets preferred to buy imported product at the lowest possible price, rather than consider quality issues such as food miles, animal welfare and traceability.

But now the worlds most successful restaurant chain, McDonalds, is demonstrating it makes good business sense to source British pork, because thats what customers want, particularly since horsegate.

The conducted research also showed that over 65% of dinners want restaurants to supply high levels of British meat.

Meanwhile, 52% said having British produce on the menu was either very or quite important to them, while 57% said high animal welfare was very or quite important.

This contrasts previous research undertaken by the Oxford Partnership in collaboration with AHDB Beef & Lamb, which found provenance was not a must-have quality for consumers when eating meat outside their homes.

We welcome the change in attitude, which has been spearheaded by a few highly-respected big players in foodservice, such as McDonalds, added Davies. Its good news for Britains high-welfare pig farmers who, unlike their continental competitors, can offer a choice of indoor or free-range pork, and all stages in-between.

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