Food Safety Magazine

News | August 21, 2013

Britain's Pork Producers Fear Retailers May Provoke 'Next Food Scandal'

By Heidi Parsons


Britain's National Pig Association (NPA) has issued a statement saying that the group "is worried that the foundations for the next food scandal are already being laid by some retailers as they edge away from the shorter supply chains they promised following Horsegate."

NPA officials said they have "noted a number of pork, bacon and gammon lines being switched back to imported product, because it is marginally cheaper." NPA is not naming the retailers concerned "until it has had meetings with them to find out their reasons for retreating from their post-Horsegate promises to introduce short supply chains," the statement noted.

"Since the heat has come off the horsemeat scandal we've started to see retailers sliding back from the strong British position they publicly adopted, and import more European product," said NPA general manager Zoe Davies.

"Consumers expect supermarkets to deliver on their post-Horsegate commitments to shorten their supply chains by buying safe food produced in Britain," Davies added. "If they think they can return to their old habits as soon as our backs are turned they had better think again, because we won’t let this matter drop and nor will our friends in the National Farmers Union.”

NPA pointed out that Britain imports around 60 percent of its pork and pork products, adding that the group "NPA believes this could be reduced if all retailers were genuinely committed to building shorter supply chain agreements with British producers."