Labour MPs back pig men

10 September 1998

Labour MPs back pig men

By FW Staff

GOVERNMENT has thrown its weight behind pig farmers efforts to persuade cutting plants and supermarkets to source their pigmeat from UK farms.

Junior farm minister, and MP for the area, Elliot Morley delighted 500 producers demonstrating outside the Key Country Foods cutting plant at Scunthorpe, Humberside, with the news that all Labour MPs were being asked to contact food manufacturers in their constituencies and make the case for the UK pig sector, and UK producers in general.

“We believe the industry deserves as much support as we all can give at this time,” said Mr Morley in a letter to David Walker, chairman of Key Country Foods.

Mr Morley also announced that government agencies and departments were being encouraged to source their pigmeat from UK farms. Sourcing from this country was not only good value for money, but was responding to what consumers wanted in terms of welfare and quality.

“British pigs are produced without stalls or tethers, a high proportion in outdoor and loose housing systems. British pigs are not fed meat and bonemeal, unlike imports, to guarantee safety and quality.

  The producers demonstration at Key Country Foods paid off with a promise of action by local MP and junior farm minister, Elliot Morley

“I am confident a company such as your own could source from the UK with confidence and consumer support,” the letter said.

But demonstrators were less pleased with Mr Walkers letter of reply. “It is not in our power to initiate sourcing of the raw material we use against the wishes of our customers,” he said.

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