Consumers continue to back British pork, finds study

A new survey shows consumers are backing British pork, with 80% saying supermarkets should continue to stock high levels of British meat.

Despite a glut of cheap foreign pork following the turmoil in Ukraine, customers want their shops to stock product from British farms to maintain consumer confidence following the horsegate scandal, according to YouGov research released by the National Pig Association (NPA).

The research also showed that 65% believe importing more European pork, which is not produced under food assurance schemes like Red Tractor, could increase risk of another horsegate-style scandal. Furthermore, only 19% want more cheaper European pork imports to keep down prices.

NPA chairman Richard Longthorp said: “Consumers have always been loyal to British pig farmers, particularly after horsegate, but even we have been surprised by this significant vote of confidence in the quality of our pork, bacon, sausages and ham. This research suggests supermarkets are delighting shoppers by sticking to their horsegate promises to sell more British meat, despite the current provocation of a mountain of cheap meat piling up in Continental cold stores.”

The NPA praised supermarkets for their loyalty to British pork, especially the “hundred-percenters” – Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Budgens, The Co-operative, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and discounters Aldi and Lidl.

NPA chief executive Dr Zoe Davies said: “The quality and taste of domestic pork and pork products is underpinned by the high-welfare methods of British pig farms. Nearly half our pigs spend some of their lives outdoors, over 90% are covered by the independently-audited Red Tractor quality assurance scheme, and almost one-third are also inspected by RSPCA for its Freedom Food animal welfare label.

“This YouGov research shows shoppers are in no doubt that supermarket commitments following horsegate to source more British meat have played an important role in restoring confidence in the meat on supermarket shelves.”

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