Your article on falling bacon imports seems to suggest that I blame poor promotional strategy of retailers for the decline in Dutch bacon exports ('British bacon cashes in on falling imports', The Grocer, 14 October, p63). This is neither accurate nor a reflection of my comments.

The reason for the fall in Dutch bacon exports over the past year is primarily due to a changing industry structure in the Netherlands that has seen some producers dropping out of the market.

It is also fair to say that tight supply of raw material has played a part in reduced shipments. From a Vion perspective, while its overall volumes have reduced slightly year on year, sales of retail specification products have grown as a result of investment in quality assurance and welfare production lines.

According to TNS Worldpanel data, overall retail ­bacon sales have seen both volume and value decline in the latest year, and promotional activity has been a key contributor. The over-­reliance on buy-one-get-one-free promotions has indeed impacted on the market and a number of retailers have already recognised this and sought to vary the use of promotional mechanics.

However, we cannot rely solely on the retailer to drive the bacon market forward. It is the responsibility of all stakeholders.

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