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Public Urged to Use Less Popular Cuts of Pork

by 5m Editor
3 April 2009, at 9:13am

UK - The Government is backing a drive to help struggling domestic farmers by encouraging consumers to buy less popular cuts of British pork.

Promoting cheaper cuts, a voluntary code of practice to stamp out misleading labelling and getting the public sector to buy more British meat can all help the ailing pig industry, says Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

Yesterday the department published its official response to a report by MPs into the industry, where many farmers are struggling to make a living.

Officials said the Government's "clear position" was to support "clearer and tighter country of origin labelling", something the Yorkshire Post's Clearly British campaign has been calling for. A taskforce set up to examine the future of the industry has been charged with drawing up a code of practice in an effort to stop cheap foreign imports being passed off as British.

The department also said a drive to promote cheaper joints of pork – which would driving up prices as more of the carcass is used – was "welcome".

In the week after TV chef Jamie Oliver highlighted the issue on Channel 4, sales of less popular pork shoulder joints went up by 75 per cent, and the Government is keen for the public sector to use value joints of pork.

Defra also welcomed moves by some supermarkets to back domestic producers and be more transparent, but said the situation was "far from ideal".

According to the Yorkshire Post, officials also defended the introduction of higher welfare standards but said the length of time it was taking for continent-wide standards to be raised was "disappointing".