A WEBSITE linking butchers and small retailers with pig producers was launched by the British Pig Association at Smithfield.

The site will enable local high street and family butchers to go online and locate traditional breed pigs of the right breed and age for their needs, said BPA chief executive Marcus Bates. “All pedigree breeders have surplus stock to sell for meat and many butchers want to buy this meat.

“The difficult part has always been linking the two together. With the website, butchers will be able to key in their location and find breeders in their area with pigs of the right age to kill.”

The website will use information entered into the BPA”s pedigree database. “We record the birth date of every pedigree pig under our auspices, so all we”re doing is making this information available to potential customers,” said Mr Bates.

He hopes the initiative – funded by a grant from BPEX – will also help maintain, and possibly increase, pedigree pig prices. “By providing more opportunities for breeders to sell surplus stock, they will gain a better return and be less tempted to sell them as breeding animals.

“In time, we hope the website will become a tool for pedigree pig sales between breeders. Consumers can also benefit by finding out which butchers or other outlets, such as farmers” markets, are selling traditional-breed pork in their area.”

The whole idea is to reconnect the supply chain to allow producers, butchers and consumers to work together for a better future, he added.