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NPA: Do They Ever Ask WHY 'Euromeat' is So Cheap?

13 February 2013

National Pig Association - The voice of the UK pig industry

UK - Supermarket greed is to blame for the Horsegate scandal but it's decent, law-abiding British farmers who are suffering as a result, says Britain's National Pig Association (NPA).

The fear of eating contaminated beef has sent shockwaves down the High Street, causing shoppers to be wary of all meat. "The only safe option is to buy British meat, and only British meat," says NPA.

Supermarkets habitually drive meat prices down to well below cost of production. "Where on earth do they think this cheap euromeat is coming from?" demands NPA chairman Richard Longthorp. "If you consistently buy something below the price at which it can be produced, you must know that corners have been cut in quality, or safety, or legality, or all three."

NPA says that although the large supermarkets have only themselves to blame for the current lack of customer trust in the meat products on their shelves, it is British farmers who are suffering most.

"Even though cheap imported europork hasn't been implicated in the Horsegate scandal, the price that British pig farmers get for their safe, high-quality product plummeted by an unprecedented 3p a kilo on Friday," said NPA general manager Dr Zoe Davies.

"Our pig farmers are already making a loss as supermarkets import increasing quantities of cheap pork from the continent and for some this latest blow may well be the straw that breaks the camel's back."

British pig farmers produce safe, high-quality food which is then processed and packed by heavily-regulated British food companies, says NPA. "But that's not good enough for some of our largest retailers. They have to buy cheap-cheap-cheap, and that is what has landed the High Street in its current fear and confusion."

Over 90 per cent of British pork is independently audited through the Red Tractor assurance scheme along its entire production process, from the feed that the pigs eat, to the way they are housed and cared for, to the way they are electronically-tracked to meat plants, and to the way the meat is processed, packed and labeled.

"Shoppers can no longer trust many supermarkets but they can trust British meat. They should buy British, and only British," says NPA.

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