The British supermarket chain Morrisons is to be the first of the big four supermarkets to move to 100% fresh British pork, the National Pig Association (NPA) website reports.
Morrisons’ chief executive Marc Bolland made the announcement this week to demonstrators at the IGD Congress in London.
The news has been welcomed by NPA chairman Stewart Houston, who was standing the industry’s corner in Congress, whilst pig producers distributed leaflets outside.
Morrisons’ pledge to move from 95% British to all-British takes effect immediately.
Once any imported product already in the system has been sold the company will be entirely British fresh pork, promised Chris Blundell, of Morrisons.
Stewart Houston said the move was particularly important because it would help offset the decision by some retailers to import more pork during the two Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreaks.
He says it is too soon to gauge the effect on price of Morrisons’ move, but he will be asking British Pig Executive (BPEX) to analyse the likely effect if the rest of the big four – Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco – can be persuaded to do likewise.
Producers John Rowbottom, Richard Lister, and Richard Longthorp are clear that Morrisons’ pledge today will send an important signal to other retailers and will help clear the backlog of pigs that is overhanging the market.