Bacon, Britain’s favourite food, is under threat with a survey showing that farmers, representing ten per cent of Britain’s weekly pig production, may be forced to quit by Christmas, according to the National Pig Association.
It says that around 1.5m rashers of British bacon a week look likely to disappear from supermarket shelves while 2.3m sausages a week are also at risk of disappearing, another high-scoring favourite in the Top 100 Foods Index. It will also mean less British sausage rolls and pork pies on the shelves.
The NPA, which blames poor crop growing weather around the world for making pig feed too expensive for British farmers, is urging shoppers to make a special effort to support them over the months ahead.
“If supermarkets see a surge in demand for British products, they may be persuaded to pay our farmers the few extra pennies a kilo more they need to cover their soaring feed bills,â€ said NPA general manager Dr Zoe Davies.
“So we are asking shoppers, who have always been incredibly loyal in the past, to please be extra careful to look for the British Red Tractor logo on bacon, sausages, and pork.”
The NPA acknowledges that empty spaces on supermarket shelves could be filled with imported bacon and sausages but that these would not be produced to British welfare standards. European pork products will also soon be in shorter supply too as the European Commission expects European pig production to shrink next year.
British pig farmers have faced a 25 per cent increase in the cost of pig feed ingredients, such as wheat and soya, in recent weeks as a result of poor crop-growing conditions, particularly in the United States.
At the same time, intense high street rivalry is making supermarkets reluctant to pay farmers more to cover their extra costs of production.
In a survey just completed by the NPA, pig farmers representing ten percent of Britain’s weekly pig production say if they don’t see a fair price between now and Christmas they will have no option but to stop production â€” because they cannot afford to feed their animals.
In addition to the loss of 1.5m British bacon rashers and 2.3m British sausages a week, this will mean:
- 1.5m fewer British sausage rolls;
- 250,000 fewer British pork pies;
- 300,000 fewer British pork chops;
- 63,000 fewer British rolled shoulder joints;
- And 31,000 fewer British leg roasts.
Over the next few weeks, British pig farmers need to persuade the pork supply chain to work together towards a producer price that reflects the recent rises in feed prices.
For updates on the British pig industryâ€™s fight to maintain production, please visit http://www.npa-uk.org.uk/
Note: Respondents in the NPA survey supply 46,080 slaughter pigs a week, about 30 percent of Great Britain’s weekly output of pigs. The British Top 100 Foods Index is compiled by Food Network UK.
For further information please contact:
Dr. Zoe Davies, General Manager, National Pig Association
Phone: 07814 448956 Email: email@example.com
Richard Longthorp, Chairman, National Pig Association
Phone: 07734 386390 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org