A recent YouGov survey has found the majority of shoppers, 81% in fact, think supermarkets should continue to stock British meat to maintain consumer confidence following the 2013 Horsegate scandal. This is a powerful figure and gives welcome support to Britain’s high-welfare pig farmers.
For despite a glut of cheap pork in continental cold stores at present, supermarkets are listening. They are keeping to their Horsegate promises to source British.
The British pig industry’s latest Porkwatch survey shows Aldi, Budgens, the Co-op, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are all maintaining 100% British pork on their shelves. Lidl and Tesco have slipped in the survey but overall the percentage of British pork in supermarkets has held at 83%.
This is a remarkable testament to consumer preference for home-produced pork and pork products at a time when the sheer volume of continental product, caused by Russia’s two trade bans, has created a 30p-a-kilo gap between British and European Union prices.
NPA’s current ‘Keep-It-Up!’ campaign applauds the supermarket ‘hundred-percenters’ for keeping their promises and is urging foodservice companies to do likewise. The YouGov survey shows it is what consumers want.
British pork is able to command a premium due to high-welfare husbandry, an independently audited quality assurance scheme which covers over 90% of British pigs and of course whole-chain traceability, supported by state of the art “Stable Isotope Ratio Analysis” which is used to help determine country of origin via random sampling and testing of pork being sold throughout the UK.
And origin is even more important following the introduction in April of mandatory country of origin labelling for fresh and frozen pork.
The NPA’s YouGov survey was carried out to mark the two-year anniversary of, in NPA chairman Richard Lister’s words, the “despicable and duplicitous Horsegate scandal”.
British retailers made commitments to stock more British pork to regain their customers’ trust, and it is obviously working.