Danish Crown is planning to up its UK pig production by 25% within the next three years as it looks to establish its credentials as a "local producer".

The Danish Crown Group already slaughters approximately 38,000 pigs a week in the UK but strong demand for British pork meant now was a good time to increase production, said Carsten Jakobsen, vice-chief executive of Danish Crown and chairman of subsidiary Tulip UK.

"The retailers want local provenance and they want British raw material," Jakobsen told a conference at Imperial College, London last week. "There's no way they can get it today - it doesn't exist."

The UK currently produces just 35% of its pork, with 168,000 tonnes of UK-bred pork set to enter the domestic supply chain in 2009. A further 280,000 tonnes will be sourced through imports.

Danish Crown would increase its UK production by a quarter by 2012, either by producing more pigs itself or forming partnerships with farmers, Jakobsen claimed.

"We will involve ourselves in British pig production even more because we believe in local production, we believe in the local farming community and we want to be seen as a local producer," he said.

The European pork giant would ensure "best in class" efficiencies and production techniques used in Denmark were applied to British production to guarantee supply was delivered competitively, he added. "We are not going to have a situation where we are going to let the supply slip up. We will make sure there is raw material and that it's available."

Jakobsen also claimed that Jamie Oliver's TV programme Jamie Saves Our Bacon, which aired in January, had had an "absolutely positive" effect on pork sales.

Danish Crown's latest development comes in the wake of Tulip's recent efforts to focus on British provenance more heavily, last year launching the London Banger from its Tulip Peckham facility.