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Weekly Overview: Co-op Commits to 100 Per Cent British Bacon by May 2017

19 September 2016, at 6:00a.m.

ANALYSIS - UK retailer Co-op has extended its commitment to back UK farmers by pledging to sell only fresh bacon that is 100 per cent British by 1 May 2017.

The new sourcing initiative will make the Co-op the only major UK food retailer to stock 100 per cent own-brand fresh British beef, chicken, pork, lamb, bacon and turkey.

It is already the only retailer to use British meat in all its chilled ready meals, pies and sandwiches.

The move has been welcomed by the pig industry. Zoe Davies, Chief Executive of the National Pig Association, commented: “This is an important step for the Co-op and is a resounding endorsement for British farming. It’s important retailers do more than roll out the bunting in their aisles to support UK farming and switching to home-produced bacon is the strongest move a retailer can make.”

In other news, classical swine fever has killed 222 pigs in South Korea. The outbreak was discovered on 4 September in 80-90 day old pigs at a farm in Yeoncheon-gun, Gyeonggi-do. The source of the outbreak is thought to be due to contact with wild species.

Canada reported a further outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) this week in a Manitoba sow barn. This is Manitoba's ninth outbreak of PED.

In Ukraine, two more outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF) have been reported on village pig units. In total, seven cases were reported.

And in Norway, a study to find a successful strategy against LA-MRSA in pig herds has found that pig workers are the principle source of infection. This transmission route was previously unidentified.

“This is an important discovery and herds must be monitored if they are to remain free of MRSA, particularly in countries where there is little or no import of live pigs,” says Petter Elstrøm, researcher at the Department of Antibiotic Resistance and Infection Prevention.