12 October 1998
Budgens looks at import policy after pig-farmer pressure

By FWi staff

SUPERMARKET chain Budgens is reviewing its meat buying policy following claims it is importing pigmeat produced under conditions soon to be outlawed in the United Kingdom.

About 500 pig farmers protested outside one Budgens store in Norfolk on Saturday, in an effort to persuade the supermarket to stock only domestically produced pigmeat.

The farmers, from the British Pig Industry Support Group, said they were sceptical about Budgens claims that the supermarket stocks imported meat only if it is “stall-and-tether-free”.

The keeping of pigs tethered in stalls will be outlawed in the UK from January next year. But the pig farmers claim Budgens is stocking cheap imported pigmeat rather than more expensive welfare-friendly supplies.

A Budgens spokesman said pork products imported from Belgium were produced to the UK standards. But he said the supermarket was prepared to review its buying policy in light of the crisis facing UK pig producers.

“Our current policy is being discussed to view our current level of support [for UK farmers] and to see what additional help we can give the industry,” the spokesman told the East Anglian Daily Times.