Pig farmers are urging shoppers to buy British bacon & bangers as rises in pig food prices are forcing them out of business. They’re asking us to look out for the Red Tractor logo and buy more British sausages, pies and bacon. Find out what you can do to save the Great British Bacon Butty
“Feed accounts for about 60 to 65 per cent of our input costs and a 25 per cent increase is a costs increase to us of about 16 per cent,” said National Pig Association (NPA) chairman Richard Longthorp, a pig farmer in Howden, East Yorkshire.
Feed prices have shot up this summer as crops of wheat, soya, and maize have failed, particularly in the US.
Our farmers are having a tough time at the moment, as you may have also read about protests by dairy farmers over cuts in the prices paid by major milk processors.
Red Mangalitza also known as a Woolly Pig - photo by ljw
NPA general manager Dr Zoe Davies added “If supermarkets see a surge in demand for British products, they may be persuaded to pay our farmers the few extra pennies a kilo more they need to cover their soaring feed bills”. If the rising costs continue there could be up to 1.5 million fewer rashers of bacon, 2.3 million fewer sausages and 250,000 fewer pork pies.
The NPA acknowledged that empty spaces on supermarket shelves could be filled with imported bacon and sausages but it pointed out that these would not be produced to British welfare standards.
Pigs in Somerset - photo by CharlesFred
In order to carry the coveted Red Tractor Pork mark, farmers must observe over 130 standards relating to pig husbandry and welfare at all stages. These range from the design of pig accommodation to staff training, health monitoring, feed, pig transportation and overall pig management. All of these are independently assessed to ensure a healthy environment for pigs.
Photograph by David Griffen
For lovers of good bacon it’s essential that we do try to support British pig farmers and not buy mass produced watery bacon. As Matthew Fort explain in the introduction to our bacon recipe collection on the subject of bacon curing. ”Wet cured bacon means the flitches (sides of bacon) have been immersed in, or injected with, brine for a week or so to cure. This is a method preferred by mass production bacon industry, because the customer ends up buying a disproportionate amount of water with their bacon, and that’s the white goo the rashers exude when they fry it.”
Also an estimated two thirds of imported pork and pork products are produced in a way that would be illegal in Britain. Farmers elsewhere in the EU, supplying the UK, are not legally obliged to meet the UK minimum legal welfare standards which prohibit the use of sow stalls. To find out more about how you can support British Farmers & buy quality Red Tractor Pork visit Love Pork’s website.
Do you have a favourite butcher or supplier of pork? Let us know who you think sells the best bacon or sausages in your area.