Northern Irish consumers encouraged to shop local

The Northern Ireland Pork and Bacon Forum is urging consumers to make buying local a priority. This can be achieved by ensuring customers buy pork with an NI ‘Assured Origin’. 

The request comes after a “challenging” year for the industry, with falling prices set to continue, according to the NI Pork and Bacon Forum.

“A variety of global market factors have resulted in difficult trading conditions – cheaper imports are coming into Northern Ireland, which are creating a very challenging environment for producers and processors,” said Deirdre McIvor, the organisation’s chief executive.

“It is more important than ever that consumers buy Northern Ireland pork, as not only are they buying a product which has been produced to the highest-quality standards in Europe, but they are helping to support our economy, which includes our pig producers and thousands of people who are employed throughout the industry supply chain.”

Last year, multiples such as Tesco, Lidl, Asda and Spar supported a ‘buy local’ campaign. The retailers were committed to stocking products carrying the ‘Assured Origin’ label. The forum hopes to establish these commitments again this year to “further champion Northern Ireland pork”.

The 2016 campaign links in with Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink and kicked off with a series of cookery videos on social media, showcasing recipes designed to encourage consumers to cook using ‘Assured Origin’ products.

“The videos offer a range of recipes and are designed to demonstrate that pork is a tasty and nutritious meal,” added McIvor. “Northern Ireland pork is a wholesome product produced to exceptional standards; it’s a lean meat which provides an excellent source of protein and, as our videos demonstrate, is versatile and convenient, especially for busy families.

She said that, in the face of market challenges, the industry was constantly looking for ways to deliver products to consumers.

“We continue to face these challenges head-on and we hope that the people of Northern Ireland will continue to support our local pig farmers and processors. The best way to do that is by purchasing local products bearing the ‘Assured Origin’ label.”

Northern Ireland Food and Drink companies are celebrating local produce by pushing products at national and international events.

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