By Peter Crichton

BRITISH pig industry support group members are reported to be furious at the British Retail Consortium. The retailers appear to have backed away from their latest pledge to sell only UK-sourced pigmeat.

With pigmeat prices slumping throughout the EU and the Pound gaining in strength to around DM2.84, this latest BRC about-turn has come as a body-blow to the industry.

In a MAFF press release on the 19 November, it announced that the BRC had agreed that UK pigmeat would also be used in ham, sausages and pies. This followed a meeting between the BRC and agricultural minister Nick Brown.

This would have given a massive boost to the heavy manufacturing end of the market, currently oversupplied and unable to find many export outlets.

However, within a few days the BRC had reneged on this undertaking and said that any commitments in respect of other processed products could take a year or more.

The BRC also added that it was not commercially feasible for the major retailers to stop stocking products from private manufacturers.