Shoppers urged - act now to save our bacon

Posted on: Aug 14 2012

A long standing campaigner for the meat industry, John Penny & Sons is urging shoppers to support both British pig farmers and high street butchers to ensure the future of British pork before it’s too late.

The rising costs of feed, coupled with supermarkets pushing down prices, means that pig farmers are now struggling to make a living and many small to medium sized producers will not survive at all. The issues facing the farming industry have largely been caused by consumers choosing to purchase cheaper meat from supermarket retailers.

Buying British meat is not only crucial to the survival of pig farmers, it also impacts on their customers, high street butchers, who depend on suppliers of good quality pork to make their produce. Many high street butchers have built their reputation on the quality of their homemade, and in many cases award winning, sausages, pork pies and bacon.

There used to be some 22,000 high street butchers in the mid-90s, according to Ed Bedington, Editor of the Meat Trades Journal. In 2010, there were just 6,553. Very shortly, our purchasing choices could contribute to the disappearance of British farmers and high street butchers altogether.

John Penny & Sons, farmers and meat wholesalers, launched The Meat Crusade to raise awareness of the issues facing the meat industry and aims to get quality butchers’ meat back on British dining tables where it belongs.

John Penny, 8th generation farmer and butcher, said: “The power to save British meat is in the hands of the public. We used to be a nation of butchers and greengrocers but the way we shop for meat has been radically altered through the domination of convenient one stop shops. Because of this move to convenience shopping, we are in grave danger of losing pork from our food chain - the joint of ham served up at Christmas, the bacon and sausages in our morning fry up and the sausage rolls in our picnic. The only way to save British pork is to start eating it – it’s time for the public to take action and support our pig farmers.”

Ed Bedington, Editor of the Meat Trades Journal, said: “British bacon is produced to very high standards, under some of the best welfare conditions in the world. It would be a great pity for the industry to collapse due to a lack of understanding from consumers who are simply looking to pick up the cheapest possible deal in the supermarket aisles. We need consumers to question their purchasing habits and support the home team.”

The future of British farming and the survival of the high street butcher lies solely in the hands of the consumer – members of the public who have the power to change demand for products. By purchasing British pork from a butchers’, consumers can ensure farmers are being paid a fair price and invest in the survival of our pig farmers and high street butchers.


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