The majority of British consumers want supermarkets to sell British pork rather than switch to cheaper import-based supplies, according to a new survey released by the National Pig Association (NPA).
Carried out by YouGov, the survey found that 81% of shoppers want supermarkets to continue stocking a high level of British meat with 65% voting against increased imports of European pork on the basis that it’s not produced under food assurance schemes like Red Tractor and could increase the risk of another Horsegate style scandal.
“Consumers have always been loyal to British pig farmers, particularly after Horsegate, but even we have been surprised by this significant vote of confidence in the quality of our pork, bacon, sausages and ham,” said NPA chairman Richard Longthorp.
One challenge for the retail sector, however, is that when asked if they were prepared to pay more for meat produced under food assurance schemes, only 50% of shoppers said yes. That was despite a 60% vote in favour schemes as Red Tractor and Freedom Food and, of course, the 81% backing for British pork in general.
NPA chief executive, Dr Zoe Davies, commented: “The research shows shoppers are in no doubt that supermarket commitments following Horsegate to source more British meat have played an important role in restoring confidence in the meat on supermarket shelves.”
NPA also voiced “particular praise” for the British pork “hundred-percenters” as identified by the industry’s most recent Porkwatch survey, namely Waitrose, M&S, Budgens, the Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and hard discounter Aldi.