Sainsbury’s will this week move to 100% British sourcing on all its fresh pork lines.
The retailer said the move – which will launch on Wednesday, with all stores moving to British fresh pork by 10 July – would result in its sourcing 70% more British pigs and 50% more fresh pork by weight. It did not give actual pig or tonnage numbers.
Sainsbury’s said its commitment to 100% British on its fresh pork lines would give UK pork farmers greater confidence to invest. Meryl Ward, a pork farmer in Sainsbury’s pork development group, said pig farmers had had a challenging year. “The commitment will give farmers confidence to invest in their business as they have a guaranteed order with a major retailer.”
Sainsbury’s head of agriculture Sue Lockhart said Sainsbury’s would continue to work on forging closer links with British farmers. “Our customers trust us to source the very best fresh food in a sustainable way, and we’re pleased to announce fresh pork as our latest progress.”
“British pork has a reputation across the world for its high welfare standards, quality and taste. Choosing British meat and dairy is a positive way to support British farming and enjoy locally sourced food”
David Heath, minister
Food and farming minister David Heath said: “British pork has a reputation across the world for its high welfare standards, quality and taste. Choosing British meat and dairy is a positive way to support British farming and enjoy locally sourced food.”
Sainsbury’s own-label ham and sausages are already 100% British; its gammon and bacon lines will continue to be a combination of British, Dutch and Danish.
National Pig Association director Zoe Davies welcomed Sainsbury’s commitment to 100% British on fresh pork but added: “Now all their fresh pork, ham and sausages are British, we look forward to working with Sainsbury’s to focus on large volume lines such as bacon.”
However, a spokesman for Sainsbury’s said there were not enough British pigs to allow the retailer to move to 100% British on bacon. “Additionally, as a customer-led business we want to stock products which our customers want, and Danish bacon in particular has a rich heritage here. It’s a great quality product and is very popular with our customers.”
In addition to its fresh pork commitment, Sainsbury’s said it was also moving all its breaded and roast chicken, frozen whole bird and frozen chicken portions as well as chicken in fresh ready meals, pies, pizza toppings, quiches and soups to 100% British from 3 July. Its fresh chicken has already been all-British for the past 10 years.
The National Farmers Union’s head of food chain unit, Deborah Cawood, welcomed the move, adding she hoped Sainsbury’s commitment to 100% British chicken in processed foods would ultimately be “matched across food ranges”.