Stewart Houston, chairman of the British Pig Executive, said it had recently discovered a number of tertiary products that gave the impression of being British, despite containing imported pork.
“We’ve seen labels indicating the product is from a certain county or English town. We’re now taking those products to the Food Standards Agency to get their view on the issue.”
He said BPEX had written to retailers calling on them to reaffirm their policy when it came to pork products.
BPEX recently released a report which claimed the increasing volumes of imported pig meat that claimed to meet UK specifications in fact fell short of them.
Houston said BPEX wanted manufacturers and retailers to go further than simply labelling country of origin on the product: “We want them to go beyond that and admit the product doesn’t meet UK specs and is produced under systems that would be illegal in the UK. Illegal is the key word.”
He also called on the industry to work together to help give UK pig producers the chance to get back on their feet. “Retailers are telling us to get our costs down, and I myself will, but I need a period of sustained profitability to be able to reinvest in my business and get costs down.”