UK: Pig sector leaders fear supply chains may be lengthening again after the horsegate scandal recedes

Free range British pigs

Free range British pigs

Pig sector leaders fear the foundations for the next food scandal are being laid as some retailers allegedly edge away from the shorter supply chains promised following the ‘horsegate’ scandal when horsemeat was discovered in some foodstuffs.

The National Pig Association (NPA) claims pork, bacon and gammon lines are being switched back to imported product, because it is marginally cheaper.

It 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, it says.

“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 Dr Zoe Davies.

“Consumers expect supermarkets to deliver on their post-Horsegate commitments to shorten their supply chains by buying safe food produced in Britain. 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.”

Britain imports around 60% of its pork and pork products and NPA believes this could be reduced if all retailers were genuinely committed to building shorter supply chain agreements with British producers.