02 February 1999
MLC admits it could do better

By FWi staff

THE Meat and Livestock Commission has admitted that it needs to communicate better with farmers in the wake of yesterdays House of Commons report on the pig industry.

The report, by the Commons Agricultural Select Committee, criticised the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) for belatedly doing too little to promote British pigmeat.

“More effective marketing strategies must be developed to raise consumer awareness of the quality of pigmeat products now available to the UK consumer,” the report said.

The report concluded that the MLCs campaign budget of £2.5 million for pigmeat was inadequate for a promotion that should be laying foundations for years to come.

It recommended that the MLC should make more funds available to promote pigmeat, saying that the effectiveness of any campaign should be independently assessed.

But the MLC claims that it spent a total of £12.4m on pigmeat promotion last year, and that the £2.5m is for the specific promotion of its “pig mark” campaign.

Colin Maclean, MLC director general, said today (Tuesday) he had recognised the need to boost pigmeat sales and had already formed the Pig Strategy Council.

But he acknowledged that communication between the MLC and pig producers could be improved.

“We have the same objectives as the rest of the industry, and the more we co-operate the quicker we will find solutions,” he said.

“We know we need to communicate our achievements to our levy payers better than we have done in the past.”

  • MPs back pig-farmers claims, FWi, yesterday (01 February, 1999)