Encouraging 'GammonWatch' Results

Retailers have been given a pat on the back by the British Pig Executive (BPEX) after a check-up on how they labelled their Christmas gammon.

But, BPEX chairman Stewart Houston said they still didn't have a 100% record and further work needed to be done.

The GammonWatch survey was carried out in the run-up to Christmas looking at country of origin labelling.

Houston said: "The results show a high percentage of the seasonal gammon and speciality hams on sale in the major multiple retailers carried clear country of origin information.

"It would be against the spirit of Christmas itself not to acknowledge the progress that has been made in this regard.

"The results are encouraging, as is the absence of stand alone statements such as 'Produced in the UK' or 'Cured in the UK' - which our previous survey highlighted as euphemisms for 'produced from imported pork'.

"Equally, with 12 per cent not showing country of origin labelling, it's fair to say that there is still some way to go before we can be satisfied on this issue."

Houston added that the best practice on country of origin labelling was to be found on retailers' top-end added value ranges.

"Shoppers have to work harder to find out that standard product may be produced from cheaper, imported meat - meat which may not have been produced to the same quality and welfare standards that apply in the UK," he said.

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