6 September 1996

Future bright for FABPIGS

OVER 80% of pigs slaughtered in the UK will be sourced from Farm Assured British Pigs scheme (FABPIGS) herds by 1999.

This was the forecast of FABPIGS chairman John Godfrey, speaking at the launch of the scheme which is designed to replace both the existing MAFF farm and transport assurance schemes. With pledges of support from some of the larger pig producing companies currently running their own schemes, Mr Godfrey is confident that 60% of UK pigs will be covered by FABPIGS by 1997.

"For retailers the scheme provides traceability, promotes food safety and is an assurance that farms have been inspected regularly by independent vets. It should instill confidence in producer, retailer and consumer alike," he said.

He explained that the emphasis was now more firmly on meeting high production standards. Auditing and inspection of potential members would be tightened and carried out by specialist pig vets. Each membership application would then undergo final approval by one vet to maintain a single standard.

Despite the higher standards, membership costs will be cut from £277 a year plus a registration fee of £68, to £195 for new members and £145 for renewals.

At the launch Food Minister, Angela Browning, said: "The scheme is looking to broaden its appeal to a wider cross-section of the industry and to strengthen ties with the customers of British pigmeat." &#42