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Stackyard News Apr 06

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    Import Pressure on UK Pig Industry

IMPORTS of pig meat are being sucked into the country in increasing quantities putting the British premium under even more pressure.


The Analysis of Pork and Pork Products Imported into the UK

The latest imports report produce by the British Pig Executive (BPEX) shows an increase of 35 per cent since 2001.

More than 70 per cent of the pork and pork products that came into the country were produced under conditions which would be illegal in the UK - a rise from 66 per cent in 2004.

Latest figures show despite rising continental prices, pork and bacon prices in British supermarkets fell in January and February, as the retailers pressured processors to supply pig meat more cheaply.

BPEX Chief Executive Mick Sloyan said: "Imported pork is being sold increasingly through retail outlets and mostly at discounted prices. For example late last year and early this year imported pork chops and leg roasting joints averaged 20-23% less than the equivalent home produced product.

"Imported bacon is also being used for deep cut price promotions selling, on average, at 6% to 30% below the equivalent UK product.

"However, consumer research indicates British consumers remain very concerned about imports of pork and pork products that fail to meet UK pig welfare legislation.

"More than 90% of the consumers questioned 'agreed' or 'agreed strongly' that all pork should be produced to UK welfare standards and that it should not be imported if it does not meet UK legislation standards."

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