Pigmeat campaign enters third phase
By John Burns
PHASE three of the Meat and Livestock Commissions controversial pigmeat promotion campaign is under way.
Controversy surrounded the first phase of the campaign when it began in May this year. It used hard-hitting adverts to highlight the superior welfare standards on British pig farms and the nature, quality and traceability of the feed ingredients used.
Phase two attempted to educate shoppers about the British Meat quality standard for pigmeat, explaining that it guaranteed the meat had been produced to higher standards. Now the third phase of the campaign will use a series of adverts in regional newspapers that highlights good practice among local pig farmers.
Coupled to regional press launches the MLC hopes the adverts will stimulate further coverage in the local press and consolidate the campaigns message.
In the south west adverts will focus on Andrew Freemantle, a young pig farmer who practices high welfare standards. Mr Freemantle opens his farm to visitors and has opened a farm shop as well as an internet web-site trading as Friendly Farm Foods.
"The shop has gone very well indeed, possibly helped by the hog roasts which my uncle does at special events. People ask where they can buy pork like that and then buy at the shop."
But the web-site has been disappointing so far. Mr Freemantles plan was to link up with other food producers selling on the internet and using a central distribution centre for economy and efficiency of operation. So far he has had no takers for the co-operative idea.
But Mr Freemantle was delighted to have been chosen for the advert and agreed that the promotion was an essential part of rebuilding the British pig industry which in the publics mind still had "A lot of bad images". *