18 September 1998

ASDA action ends pig demo

NATIONWIDE demonstrations by pig farmers outside Asda stores have been called off after the retailer announced that its fresh pork and loose bacon sales will be exclusively British from this weekend.

Asda says it will now increase the level of British pork from 90% to 100% and that all its loose bacon will be home-produced. Fresh lamb will also be 100% British, until the winter, when New Zealand lamb will still be sourced to cover any shortfall in domestic supplies.

A spokesman said that the move was not related to pressure from pig farmers. The firm did, however, recognise the plight of British producers. "We have been working for some months to reach an end point with existing supply contracts, where we could switch to increase the level of British produce in these areas.

"We are also moving towards sourcing as much British bacon as possible in our pre-packed products," he said.

ASDA has also said it will introduce a comprehensive policy across all pigmeat that will require compliance with UK pig production standards within three months.

The British Pig Industry Support Group, which had planned the weekend demonstrations, welcomed Asdas decision as a big step forward – one it hoped other retailers would follow. &#42