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Minister Defends Pork Brand Promotion

by 5m Editor
17 December 2009, at 8:35am

FINLAND - Minister of Agriculture Sirkka-Liisa Anttila says the recent controversy over shoddy conditions at some pig farms and the granting of funds to improve the image of pork are unrelated.

Speaking on YLE Morning TV, she reiterated that the Ministry also supports a diverse range of food industry products. On Wednesday, a YLE current affairs programme revealed the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has granted over a quarter of a million euros to promote the image of pork. The programme further claimed that swine farmers had applied for half a million euros for brand promotion next year.

Ms Anttila says the cash was not granted in response to the recent outcry over video footage taken inside badly-maintained swine farms.

She pointed out that similar financial support is granted for other sectors in the foodstuffs industry.

The organisation Oikeutta Eläimille (Justice for Animals) on Thursday reiterated its demand that no public money be made available to promote factory farming. A week ago, the NGO published video footage showing dire conditions at some 30 pig farms.

Earlier this month in Sweden, a similar scandal led to the resignation of the chair of the Swedish Meats farmers' association.

Retailers in Finland say that the furore has spurred demand for organically-produced ham for Christmas.