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Scottish Pork Banner Campaign Hits the Highways

by 5m Editor
9 February 2011, at 10:56am

SCOTLAND, UK - Roadside banners supporting ‘Perfect Scottish Pork and Bacon’ are starting to appear around Scotland as the nation’s pig farmers proactively promote their products in a bid to return to profitability. The first banner has been erected at Kintore in Aberdeenshire beside the busy A96 road that runs between Aberdeen and Inverness.

A huge rise in the cost of feed for pigs means that many Scottish pig producers are struggling to get a return from the marketplace that covers the cost of rearing the animals. However, farmers are doing their bit by encouraging consumers to continue to support Scottish pork, bacon and sausages.

The Union is also demanding that supermarkets back our farmers by showing a greater commitment to Scottish pork and bacon in their Scottish stores. An NFU Scotland investigation of store shelves, carried out two weeks ago, found significant levels of imported pigmeat in certain Scottish supermarkets and, this week, Union staff discovered Dutch and Danish pork in a Sainsbury’s store on a shelf labelled “A Taste of Scotland.“

NFU Scotland’s Pigs Committee Chairman, Philip Sleigh said: “With these banners, Scottish pig producers are saying to the public that we are proud of the way we look after our pigs and that we value the fact that so many of them go into a butcher’s shop or a supermarket and look to buy Scottish pork, bacon or sausages. With their support, we hope to ensure that more of our pork and bacon makes its way onto our shop shelves.

“But there is an equally important message to those who stock their shelves with Scottish pigmeat. Firstly, retailers must quickly reflect the soaring feed costs faced by farmers in supermarket pricing structures, and at the same time, show support by establishing stronger long term arrangements to source more home-produced pork and bacon.

“Our recent investigation of shop shelves clearly showed that in some supermarkets, support for Scottish pork and bacon could be considerably better than it currently is. Stocking Scottish product in favour of imports not only responds to consumer demand for local produce but supports and recognises the higher welfare standards that producers here meet.

“We also need supermarkets to cut out misleading point of sale information. This week, in a Sainsbury’s store in Edinburgh, we found Dutch and Danish pork on a shelf claiming the product would provide ‘A Taste of Scotland.' We recently found Dutch and German pork on shelves in a Tesco store claiming that the products were ‘Specially Selected Scotch.'

“That is unacceptable but the solution is simple. Supermarkets clearly recognise that their customers value the Scottish brand so if they claim that it is Scottish on the shelves, they simply have to ensure that it is Scottish pork and bacon that is in the packet. By stocking more pork and bacon that has been bred, fed and reared in Scotland, they will demonstrate greater support for the Scottish pig industry and keep their customers happy at the same time.

“We have written to major retailers recently and indicated that we would welcome, and happily work with them, on any initiative that puts more Scottish pork and bacon on Scottish shop shelves."