20 September 2000
1m prize in Dutch bacon promotion

By FWi staff

DUTCH pig farmers are to launch their biggest-ever promotional campaign in Britain – just as producers in East Anglia are battling against swine fever.

A 1 million prize could be claimed by the winner of the “Smash the 1 million Piggy” promotion launched by the Dutch Meat Board in early October.

Consumers will be offered the chance to grab 1m in a special piggybank-smashing session in Amsterdam in February next year.

This is in marked contrast to controversial Meat and Livestock Commission pigmeat advertisements, which emphasised high UK animal welfare standards.

Ads showing how European pigs were kept in confined quarters and could be fed to other pigs infuriated Dutch and Danish producers

Some UK industry figures said the campaign was too hard-hitting and looked like a promotion for an animal rights group rather than the meat industry.

Robert Smith, UK managing director of the Dutch Meat Board, said: “The market needs something fun and positive to put a smile on consumers faces.

“This will generate the excitement and momentum that bacon needs.”

Shoppers who discover a special winning piggy logo on the underside of promotional packs of Royal Crest Dutch Bacon win one of 20 top prizes.

In a weekend trip to Amsterdam, 19 will win 1000 prizes, but the other contestant who selects a special piggy bank is invited to try to win 1m.

Ushered into a special room containing 2000 piggy banks, he or she will be asked to smash as many as possible within 30 seconds.

Each is worth 100, except one which contains a cheque for 1m.

Mr Smith said: “All we need now is someone in the right place at the right time to grab the biggest ever prize in bacon history.”

The news comes as farmers in East Anglia decide whether to use money for promoting British pigmeat to compensate producers hit by swine fever.

A proposal being considered by the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Pig Association would see farmers pay 20p per healthy pig to fund the payments.

Under one scenario, the money would be taken from the Meat and Livestock Commission promotional levy, collected on all animals going for slaughter.

Some producers are backing the idea. But others say it could encourage the government to make farmers pay for compensation after future disease outbreaks.