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Boost for british pig production

by 5m Editor
27 August 2003, at 12:00am

UK - The announcement of a major review of the way food and catering services are purchased by the government and its agencies will give British pig production a boost says British Pig Executive Chief Executive Mick Sloyan.

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Mr Sloyan said the review, outlined by Food and Farming Minister Lord Whitty, focused on important issues for British producers and processors such as production standards, welfare and the health benefits of lean modern pork and pork products.

The review not only covers the Government but also the NHS, schools, hospitals, prisons and local authorities.

Mr Sloyan said: “The British pig industry is ideally placed to meet the needs of local sourcing as more than 90 per cent of production is already covered by whole chain quality assurance.

“Purchasing agencies have a duty to obtain best value but that means quality not just price.

“I agree completely with Jonathan Porritt, UK Sustainable Development Commission Chairman, who said buying food wasn’t just about buying as cheaply as possible, it was about looking at where and how food has been produced.

“Unfortunately many organisations buy purely on price which means they buy a lot of imported pork and pork products produced under conditions which would be illegal here.“

“British producers have already had notable success in persuading the NHS of the quality and healthiness of British pork. One of the achievements has been to get as many pork dishes as chicken on hospital menus.

“The Ministry of Defence is also now sourcing all its pork, bacon and ham from Britain.

“We will be encouraging Defra to ensure that the examples of the NHS and MoD become part of the delivery plan so British sourcing will be extended to other areas of public procurement.“

Launching the initiative, Lord Whitty said: “Food sustainability is a complex concept. There are many factors involved, for example freshness, nutritional content, production method, animal welfare, energy and pesticide usage. All of these are important.“

Grants may be available under the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP) and Objective 1 Programme to help farmers and growers to contribute to and benefit from this Defra initiative. Further details are available from Defra.

Source: Meat and Livestock Commission - 26th August 2003

5m Editor