Jamie Oliver has done good work, but now the industry must keep up the pace with British pigmeat, says Michael Barker




The wolf was huffing and puffing at a house of straw 12 months ago, and there seemed little way out for the pigs.

But following 12 months of graft, promotion and public awareness, producers and their representatives have managed to stem the tide of farmers threatening to quit pigmeat production.

Whisper it quietly, but some farmers have even been reported to have turned a small profit.

Together with promotion for the Quality Standard Mark and a push for better labelling, it's been a much better year for the UK pork industry.

And then came Jamie Oliver's programme in January, which further put the meat into the public's eye. At a time when price is king, UK pork was promoted as an affordable and versatile protein.

Oliver can tick pork off his list of wrongs to put right and move on to his next crusade.

But the industry needs to make sure that from now on it gets its marketing right and sustains its profile if it wants to live permanently in a house of brick.