26 August 1998
Pig protesters pinpoint target factories
By FWi staff
FARMERS protesting against cheap pigmeat imports will next week target meat cutting plants in Lincolnshire and Norfolk. The simultaneous demonstrations will take place next Thursday (3 September) at Scunthorpe and Thetford.
The demonstrations have been arranged by the newly-formed British Pig Industry Support Group, the grassroots farmer group behind the mass protest of more than 1000 pig farmers at Immingham docks two weeks ago.
The group has pledged to step up its protests unless retailers agree to label imported pigmeat. Farmers claim much imported pigmeat is reared to standards that would be illegal in the UK.
The farmers say that unless their demands are met, they will eventually target retail outlets which sell unlabelled imported pigmeat. But they are wary of doing so too soon, because many supermarkets are also major buyers of UK pork.
The farmers yesterday (Tuesday) used more conventional methods to persuade retailers to whole-heartedly support the beleaguered UK pig industry. A delegation of pig farmers met representatives of the British Retail Consortium.
Afterwards, both sides issued a joint statement saying that various issues were discussed in a frank and open manner.
The BRC undertook to relay to its members the strength of feeling and the circumstances in which pig farmers find themselves. It also agreed to conduct a detailed survey identifying the differences between UK and overseas production methods.