‘British pork price fall masks success’

Pig farmer Richard Longthorpe.  Pic: Jonathan Pow/Ross Parry.
Pig farmer Richard Longthorpe. Pic: Jonathan Pow/Ross Parry.
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Retailers have made good promises to source more British pork, albeit at reduced prices from farmers, according to East Yorkshire pig farmer, Richard Longthorp.

The price of pork has dropped 20p per kg since June last year and it is still falling, Mr Longthorp, chairman of the National Pig Association (NPA), said.

There were reasons to be cheerful though, he added, saying pork was more popular with shoppers and retailers had learned from the horsegate scandal two years ago.

“You wouldn’t expect us to welcome the steady decline in pig producer prices over the past few months - but we do applaud the fact that these price drops are helping retailers and food services to delight customers with lower prices for British pork and pork products.

“The huge surge in the popularity of British pork we have seen since horsegate has led to a period of recovery in the British pig industry, with investment in staff training and apprenticeships, new facilities, new technology and new accommodation - and everybody has benefited.”

Mr Longthorp said the NPA commended retailers for remaining committed to British pork, particularly in the face of “intense provocation” from Russia’s meat embargo which is causing serious market difficulties.

He particularly praised the British pork ‘hundred-percenters’ as identified by the industry’s Porkwatch survey - Waitrose, M&S, Budgens, the Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and hard discounters Aldi and Lidl.

“Retailers are sticking to the promises they made after horsegate to source more British pork because it is a quality, farm-assured product, with a short, transparent supply chain,” Mr Longthorp said.