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Jamie Does Great Job of Promoting British Pork

by 5m Editor
2 February 2009, at 7:29am

SCOTLAND - NFU Scotland has acknowledged the great efforts of Jamie Oliver in helping to promote British pork to consumers.

The celebrity chef, in his Channel 4 programme entitled Jamie Saves Our Bacon, highlighted some of the poor animal welfare practices within the pig industry elsewhere in the EU, at the same time explaining to consumers that British pork is reared to far higher standards. He urged people to buy British bacon and pork to ensure that they are supporting both high animal welfare standards and the declining British pig industry.

In Scotland alone, the number of breeding pigs has halved over the last ten years, with many farmers going out of business because they are being paid less for their pigs than it costs to rear them. In order to safeguard our industry and ensure that we aren’t relying on poorer standard pork imported from elsewhere in the EU, we must buy British.

Anna Davies, NFU Scotland’s Public Relations Manager, said, "NFU Scotland has been working to encourage people to buy Scottish food and drink for a number of years but it’s great to see these celebrity chefs fighting our corner too."

"Our farmers do a huge amount, not just in terms of maintaining high animal welfare standards but also in terms of maintaining our countryside," said Miss Davies. "Buying Scottish – or British – also cuts down on ‘food miles’."

She added, "Jamie also really attacked the labelling question. He proved what we have known for a long time – that supermarket labels are often very unclear and that people find it hard to identify the country of origin of the bacon and pork that they are buying."

Miss Davies said many people want to buy British products but they are being prevented from doing so by unclear or confusing labelling. Bacon labelled as ‘Wiltshire cured’ but coming from Denmark is just not acceptable. Jane Kennedy MP, Minister for Farming, promised Jamie on the programme that she would address the issue of labelling and of procurement within public bodies and we look forward to some results, said Miss Davies.

"The only thing that Jamie didn’t show, which he should have, is how people can identify Scottish pork through the blue Specially Selected Pork logo. Customers should look out for this logo or for the Red Tractor logo or the Quality Pork Standard to be sure that they are buying quality and welfare assured British pork," she went on to add.