Asda to increase British pork offering

Asda to increase British pork offering

A promise by Asda that it will increase its fresh pork to 80% British by next year has been welcomed by British pig farmers.

PigletAsda, which accounts for over 16% of the nation’s food and drink sales, also plans to move all its own-brand sausages to British pork by July, in order to improve quality.

The National Pig Association (NPA) has welcomed the news.

NPA chief executive Dr Zoe Davies commented: “We’ll be discussing milestones over the weeks ahead. But if Asda moves ahead at a brisk pace, it will help keep the British pig sector relatively intact at a time when real-term prices are at their lowest for 16 years.”

According to the industry’s bimonthly PorkWatch survey, Asda has already started its move to replace imported pork with fresh British pork. The survey shows British fresh pork shelf-facings increased 3% in January compared with November, from 56% to 59%.

“We are sure by promoting the quality of British pork, Asda will grow pork sales across all its stores, particularly as a mid-week convenience food,” added NPA chairman Richard Lister. “Tangible support like this will encourage our members to stay in production until the price we receive once again covers our costs of production.”

Currently pig prices are at their lowest since 2008, and in real-terms at their lowest since 2000. The slump, which is now in its second year. NPA blames the slump on two Russian trade embargoes causing a build-up of European Union pork in cold stores, and the strength of sterling against the euro.

The NPA says only around 40% of pork and pork products consumed in Britain come from British pigs. The association claims the most popular cuts (back bacon, chops and steaks, gammon and ham) are under-produced domestically, whilst the less popular cuts (shoulder, belly and offal) are over-produced.

Around a quarter of home-produced pork is exported, mainly cuts that are less popular with British consumers.

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