12 August 1998
Pig producers welcome MLC’s £3m
By Vicky Houchin
HARD-PRESSED pig farmers have welcomed a multi-million pound promotion package aimed at boosting sales of UK pork and pigmeat.
But they have vowed to press ahead with their own campaign aimed at highlighting the crisis that is sweeping the industry.
The Meat and Livestock Commission yesterday (Tuesday) launched a £3 million campaign to advertise pork and on TV and in supermarkets between now and Christmas.
Recipe cards will be distributed to consumers via the major retailers and independent butchers. The campaign will cover all cuts of pigmeat from chops to bacon, mince and pork pies.
Pig producers welcomed the move as a possible means of staving off bankruptcy. The pig market is oversupplied and farmers have seen record losses despite a 6.1% increase in pork consumption during the past year.
“Anything that can convince the housewife to buy British pork has to be advantageous,” said Scottish pig farmer Dennis Bridgeford.
Farmers claim that an influx of cheaper European pigmeat is crippling the UK pig industry. Mr Bridgeford said that the public now needs to be told that UK pigmeat might be more expensive but is produced to stricter welfare standards than overseas supplies.
Up to 1500 pig farmers are expected to picket the port of Immingham today (Wednesday) in protest at cheap pigmeat imports.
“If we dont have sufficient customers buying our product, we will go bust,” said John Rowbottom, a pig farmer who keeps a 1650-sow herd at Melbourne, Yorkshire.
“We need them to buy British and we need them to know that British pork is better.”