Porkwatch: Good support for British pork among big retailers – but Tesco and Asda could do more

Co-op and M&S led the way in supporting British pig producers in the January AHDB Porkwatch survey, which also showed that Tesco and Asda, while improving could do a lot more to help in the industry’s hour of need. 

The survey showed relatively healthy overall support for fresh British pork among the biggest 11 UK retailers, but, as always, there is plenty of room for improvement, particularly with more British pigs expected to move through the system over the coming weeks and months.

Pork

Overall, 80% of pork on display in January across the biggest 11 UK retailers was British, similar to the November survey and slightly down on a year ago.

Aldi, Co-op, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose all stocked 100% British pork, with Budgens dropping to 95%.

Following a big improvement in November, Asda’s British pork facings were up three further percentage points to 59%, its highest level for a year. Tesco was up slightly to 57%, but down on last year, while Iceland was slightly improved at 26%.

Porkwatch pork baconBacon

British bacon facings, at 55%, were slightly up across the board on November and a year ago, with Co-op and M&S the only two retailers on 100%, followed by Waitrose, 91%, and Sainsbury’, which showed a big increase to 80%.

Aldi (51%) and Tesco (41%) showed improvement, but Asda was down on November at 36%, Budgens was down to 39%, Lidl was down to 25%, with Iceland on just 6%.

Ham

British ham, at 66%, was also up on November and a year ago, with Co-op the only retailer at 100%, with Waitrose, M&S and Sainsbury’s in the 90s. Tesco improved significantly to 65%, but Asda was down at just 30%.

Porkwatch ham sausage

Sausage

British sausage facings were stable at 86%, with Aldi and M&S on 100% and Co-op, Lidl and Waitrose above 90%, and Asda and Tesco up slightly to 86% and 84% respectively.

January Porkwatch survey: Percentage of British facings (% points change on Nov)

Pork                 Bacon              Ham                Sausage

Aldi                 100 (+4)           51 (nc)             85 (nc)             100 (nc)

Asda                59 (+3)             36 (-4)             30 (+1)             86 (+3)

Budgens          95 (-5)             36 (-4)             54 (+11)           67 (-5)

Co-op              100 (nc)           100 (nc)           100 (+5)           90 (+5)

Iceland            26 (+4)             6 (-5)               26 (-3)             57 (-2)

Lidl                  100 (+1)           25 (-2)             45 (+1)             92 (nc)

M&S                100 (nc)           100 (nc)           98 (+2)             100 (nc)

Morrisons       100 (nc)           54 (-2)             65 (-1)             80 (nc)

Sainsburys      100 (nc)           80 (+14)           92 (nc)             88 (nc)

Tesco                57 (+1)             41 (+3)             65 (+6)             84 (+1)

Waitrose         100 (nc)           91 (-2)             93 (+6)             97 (-1)

Total                80 (nc)             55 (+1)             66 (+3)             86 (nc)

#PorkReport

The NPA is currently running a #PorkReport social media campaign, highlighting good and bad practice in retailers when it comes to stocking and displaying and clear labelling.

How you can take part: When visiting your local supermarket, take a picture of the pork on the shelves.

You can post your images and any comment on your own social media accounts, tagging NPA and the retailer, and using #PorkReport.

Alternatively, you can send the images and location to the NPA – [email protected] – and it will be posted on the @GBpork account.

Here are some examples:

Pork report Aldi asda

Pork report Tesco

NPA comment

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said called on retailers to do more to support British pig businesses, many of which are on the brink of collapse.

“The next few weeks and months should see more British pork coming through the system as efforts are stepped up to clear the backlog, at a time when EU pork is becoming shorter in supply and more expensive,” she said.

“This is, therefore, a huge opportunity for all of our retailers to step up, stock more British pork, and actively promote it to their customers, backed by clear labelling. We also desperately need retailers to review what they are paying their processors to help struggling British pig producers get through this incredibly difficult period.

“As always, we thank those retailers who are supporting British pig producers and urge all retailers, particularly Tesco and Asda, who could be doing better, to take a long-term view and do everything in their powers to ensure the survival of the British pig industry.”

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About The Author

Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.