May Porkwatch: Retailers display more British pork, but bacon and sausage down on a year ago
15th Jun 2023 / By Alistair Driver
The proportion of British pork on display in major retailers was significantly up in May, compared with a year ago, according to the latest AHDB Porkwatch survey.
However, there was a big drop in the proportion of British sausage on view, compared with May 2022, and bacon was also down.
British fresh pork facings were at 88% across the 10 retailers surveyed in May, up from 86% in March, and five percentage points up on May 2022. This would indicate that, despite tight domestic supplies and high prices, retailers are not turning to EU pork, which has been similarly priced for some time, also on the back of reduced pig numbers.
Aldi, Co-op, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s all recorded 100% British fresh pork, with Waitrose continuing its gradual decline in this category to 94%, compared with 100% in July 2022.
The big mover was Asda, which recorded 72% British in this category, up from 66% in March and from 59% in May 2022. Tesco is also moving in the right direction, recording 78% in May, fractionally higher than March, and a huge 22 percentage points up on a year ago.
At the other end of the scale, Iceland recorded just 1% British, down from 5% in March.
British bacon facings were similar to March at 55%, but down on the May 2022 figure of 59% and the recent September 2022 high of 63%.
Co-op and M&S were the only retailers to record 100%, with Waitrose (95%) and Sainsbury’s (85%) also displaying a high proportion of British bacon.
Morrisons was on 49% and elsewhere, there were some low figures, with Tesco on 38%, down from 44% in May 2022, Asda on 24%, down from 41% a year ago, Lidl on 19%, compared with 43% a year ago. Iceland recorded just 10% British.
The overall proportion of British ham on display dropped to 65%, compared with 67% in March, but unchanged on May 2022.
No retailers recorded 100% British, with M&S (98%), Co-op (96%), Waitrose (94%) and Sainsbury’s leading the way, Aldi on 78% and Tesco 67%.
Asda recorded 44%, well up from 27% a year ago, while Morrisons moved the other way, on 34%, down from 61% in May 2022, and Lidl was on 37%. Iceland was again the lowest of 20%.
The overall figure for sausage of 79% was up 3 percentage points on March, but significantly down on the May 2022 figure of 89%.
Only M&S recorded 100%, with Waitrose, on 95%, Aldi on 94%, albeit down on a year ago, and Lidl, 89%, slightly up on a year ago, also scoring highly.
Sainsbury’s (79%), Morrisons (78%), Asda (75%), Tesco (75%) and the Co-op (71%) were all well down on a year ago. Iceland was on 35%, also significantly below its May 2022 figure.
NPA chief executive Lizzie Wilson said: “The latest Porkwatch data is a mixed bag. We very much welcome the big increase in the proportion of British pork on retail shelves over the course of a year, with Tesco and Asda, in particular, doing much better. But the drop-off in British bacon and sausage on display is a concern.
“We applaud those retailers who are doing their utmost to support British pig producers as they embark on the long road to recovery, after two years of crippling losses.
“If there is one thing the industry crisis has taught us, it is the need for a long-term strategic approach across the supply chain when it comes, not only to sourcing and pricing of British pork, but also to contracts and transparency. With the help of Defra’s review of contractual practice, we want to move towards a fairer supply chain where the risks and rewards of pig production are more even distributed.”