Retailers must not be tempted by a potential glut of cheap Continental pork flushed on to the market by the German dioxin scare, Bpex has warned.

German pork sales were down 10% in the first two weeks of January year-on-year, ­according to the German Food Industry Association. UK producers feared retailers could source pork from the Continent where there is overcapacity at a time when domestic producers were suffering.

British pig producers lost £27m in the last quarter of 2010 as a result of soaring feed costs and a drop in the deadweight average pig price (DAPP).

Bpex has outlined a plan to help producers. It is urging retailers to increase payment per pig to producers, support English high-welfare pigmeat production and co-operate with supply chain stakeholders.

Research suggested 78% of UK shoppers would pay more for high-welfare pork.