Supermarkets commit to backing British pork amid crisis

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The vast majority of the UK’s major retailers have committed to backing British pork in response to an open letter calling for more support as the sector experiences the worst crisis in recent times.

All the big retailers have now responded to the letter, sent by the National Pig Association (NPA) earlier this month, urging them to prioritise British pork over EU product.

The supermarkets have generally sought to reassure that they are backing the industry, with continued commitments to British pork and efforts to address the labour shortage across the supply chain and to ease the pig backlog.

The letter called on retailers to help resolve the pig backlog by not turning to cheaper EU pork, particularly where it diverts essential butchery staff away from UK product.

“We are also aware that some previously supportive retailers are now considering moving over to EU pork because it is much cheaper,” NPA Chairman Richard Mutimer said.

Falling EU prices have made imported pork more attractive to retailers, and official government trade data suggests UK pork import volumes have been increasing since the summer, after being well below 2020 levels in the first part of the year.

Describing the impact of the backlog of pigs on farms and warning of more welfare culling, Mr Mutimer said: “I am therefore asking for you to help us by prioritising British pork through the plants and diverting butchery staff back to British pigs so we can get the throughputs back to where they need to be.”

The vast majority of the UK’s major retailers have committed to backing British pork in response to the open letter.

A response from Asda said: “Asda is committed to assisting our pork supplier, Cranswick, and their British farming suppliers in this difficult period for the sector.

“We have highlighted British pork product to help drive awareness and consumption with our customers.”

 

 

by Farming UK

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