British pork product facings decline in November

The proportion of British pork products in retail outlets fell in November 2016, according to the latest AHDB Porkwatch survey. 

All four pork categories fell overall during the month, with the percentage of British pork facings falling from 83% in September 2016 to 79% in November 2016. Bacon dropped from 48% to 46% and ham fell from 65% to 62% over the same period. Sausages saw a drop from 84% in September 2016 to 82% in November.

Retailer Asda was singled out by the National Pig Association (NPA) for its “dreadful” performance. It reported a drop in British pork facings from 61% in September to 40% in November, a decline of 35%. Asda’s British bacon, ham and sausage facings all fell over the period.

In response, an Asda spokesperson said: “At Asda we support the British pig industry through the Red Tractor and Farm Assurance Schemes and are fully committed to providing a source of British pork which meets the needs of our customers. All our products are clearly labelled, so our customers can make an informed decision when buying their meat.”

The best performers during the month were Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, which, despite a small drop in the ham and sausage categories, scored almost 100% across the board.

The Total Market percentage of Red Tractor pork facings also dropped, according to the Porkwatch survey. It fell from 57% in September to 52% in November. The other three pork categories grew however, with bacon rising from 21% in September to 22% in November; ham growing from 11% to 12%; and sausage increasing from 49% to 50%.

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies praised the retailers supporting British pork. “As ever, we thank those retailers that continue to back British pork and promote the fact they are doing so.

“We are disappointed with the overall results, showing that retailers sourced less British pigmeat across the categories,” she said. “Tesco could certainly do better. But the performance of Asda, which was already in a league of its own when it comes to turning its back on British pork, was dreadful and we will be taking it up with them at the earliest opportunity.

“But, overall, it is not just about the proportion of British pigmeat. We have been encouraged by some of the new pork product development on the shelves of a number of retailers, including Waitrose and Aldi.

“That is certainly something we are looking forward to seeing much more of this year.”

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