Waitrose will source all of its bacon from British farmers by the end of the year, it announced this week.

The retailer already sources 100% of its fresh pork and 90% of bacon from UK suppliers, but has now pledged to stop selling imported bacon by Christmas.

Waitrose said it was making the move as British pork and bacon was produced to a "superior standard" of animal welfare than some European products, and it wanted to support UK pig farmers during tough times.

"Our decision to source all of our own-label fresh pork, bacon and sausages in the UK sends out a strong vote of support to British pig farmers who are experiencing difficult trading conditions", said senior meat buyer at Waitrose, Natalie Mitchell.

The supermarket also stressed it operated a payment model for pigmeat producers that took into account the cost of production for farmers and ensured they received sustainable returns.

The move was welcomed as "very good news for the British pig industry" by Bpex chairman Stewart Houston.