Cheap imports drive pork sales

An increase in fresh and frozen pork sales of 6.2% in the four weeks to 22 February has been blamed on a rise of cheap imports.

Over the same period bacon was up 1.7%, pork sausages rose by 6.4% and sliced meat showed a 5.4% increase, according to Kantar figures.

The increase means that an extra 6,500 tonnes of pork was sold - in a period when the meat and poultry marker dipped slightly overall.

Chris Lamb, head of marketing at Bpex, said: “Those increase in sales of pig meat are being driven mainly by deep cut promotions featuring cheap imported pork, two-thirds of which will have been produced under conditions which would be illegal in this country.

“This must be set against a falling pig breeding herd across Europe - a trend which is expected to continue over the next few years.

“Overall, the European Union breeding herd fell by nearly 3 percent last year, based on census returns from 17 member countries.”

Stewart Houston, Bpex chairman, added: “Some retailers are being very supportive but others need to be aware of this and to take it into account in both their short and long-term sourcing policies or they could face serious supply problems.”

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