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Supermarkets buy more British pork after horsegate

By Mike Stones+


Supermarkets have boosted their purchases of British-farmed pork, ham and sausages since the horsemeat scandal, reveals new research from the English pig industry levy board BPEX.

All retailers have stepped up British lines in some categories over the past year and some have improved across all categories, according to its Porkwatch survey.

British ham shelf facings were up by 3.9%, while sausages were up by 3.5% and pork climbed by 1.5%.

Waitrose and Marks & Spencer

Waitrose and Marks & Spencer (M&S) were singled out for particular praise from the National Pig Association (NPA) for their long-term support of British-farmed meat. Both achieved 100% British produce, or very near it, in all pork and pork product categories.

M&S, Aldi and Budgens all stocked more British pork, bacon, ham and sausage lines than at this time last year. The key Porkwatch results are listed below.

Lizzie Press, NPA acting general manager, said the results showed that retailers were listening to their customers. “We are delighted with the current trend because it is allowing pig farmers to reinvest in their businesses after three very difficult years caused by high feed costs,” said Press.

‘Horsegate has proved a game-changer’

NPA chairman Richard Longthorp added: “Shoppers often used to choose British meat where possible, but horsegate has proved a game-changer and now many are insisting it must be British. We are grateful to retailers for the way they have stepped up to the mark, even when cheaper imported product has been available.”

But it was not all good news for British pork products. Bacon shelf facings were down by 7.4% and the NPA pledged to urge retailers to improve the number of British bacon shelf facings in 2014.

Conducted every two months, the Porkwatch survey records the number of product lines that supermarkets allocate to British pork and pork products.

Meanwhile, one of Britain’s biggest outdoor pig rearing firms – the family-owned Dent Ltd – has gone into into administration . The firm is continuing to trade, confirmed administrator Deloitte.


Porkwatch survey key results

• M&S, Aldi and Budgens have more British pork, bacon, ham and sausage lines than at this time last year.

• Waitrose has more British pork, ham and sausage lines, and has maintained its number of British bacon lines. 

• Morrisons has more British pork, bacon and sausage lines and the Co-op has more British pork, ham and sausage lines.

• Sainsbury has more British ham lines and has increased its British pork lines by 19% to 100%.

• Tesco, Asda and Lidl have boosted their ham and sausage lines.

Source: Porkwatch survey

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