Retailers disappoint pig farmers

ENGLISH SUPERMARKETS are cutting back on the amount of space they give on their shelves to fresh British pork, according to the latest PorkWatch survey.

Of the big three retailers, Asda improved its performance in September 2004 but Tesco and Sainsbury dropped back.

Tesco cut back the amount of space it gave over to fresh British pork by 7% last month, and Sainsbury cut it by 12%.

“It is disappointing news for shoppers, who have made it clear they want honestly-labelled fresh British pork rather than imported pork which invariably is not as fresh and is of poorer quality,” said PorkWatch chairman Richard Lister.

The PorkWatch survey is carried out by English pig farmers, to provide shoppers with an up-to-date guide on which supermarkets are supporting fresh home-produced pork.

When carrying out the survey, the farmers accept only the independently-audited British Quality Standard Mark as proof that pork is genuinely British.

“Competition between supermarkets intensified this summer and supermarkets piled their shelves with cheap imported pork, whilst many British pig farmers found there were no buyers for their higher-quality home-produced pork,” said Mr Lister.

“It is an indication of just how powerful the supermarkets have become that in their quest for more market share they can ignore the wishes of their customers.”

Other supermarkets in the survey included the Co-op, Budgens and Morrisons.

The results showed that the Co-op had improved its performance and although Budgens showed a drop of 67% this was down to a labelling blip, as all its fresh pork is British.

The same is true of Morrisons, which continues to sell 100% fresh British pork.