Livestock bosses have accused retailers of providing “a lesson in duplicity” by selling pigmeat products under tertiary brands.
British Pig Executive chairman Stewart Houston said although most leading retailers had pledged that their own label pigmeat products met UK standards of production, they used tertiary brands as “flags of convenience” to sell cheap meat that did not.
Houston said that research carried out for BPEX by the Meat and Livestock Commission proved that consumers found it difficult to identify the country of origin from many of the labels used on packs of fresh pork and bacon. There is particularly acute concern over the use of imagery and brand names that evoke the British countryside on packs of tertiary-branded pigmeat sourced from abroad.
Houston, who was speaking at an industry event, said BPEX would use the findings to launch a campaign against tertiary brands.
He added: “The research graphically demonstrates the case for better labelling and more honesty from some retailers.
“We will expose the good, the bad and the downright ugly in pigmeat labelling.”