'We are committed to great value pork and source British wherever possible' - Asda
6th Jul 2018 / By Alistair Driver
Asda said it was committed to supplying ‘great value’ pork and sources British ‘wherever possible’, following criticism from NPA over its continued failure to support the British pig industry.
The May Porkwatch survey showed Asda’s British fresh pork facings fell from 44% in March to just 34%, a drop consistent across the stores sampled. It is understood Asda is importing more pork for its summer barbecue range.
This was once the lowest figure among the 10 top retailers by a huge margin. The Leeds-based retailer also posted the lowest figure for bacon, 31%, albeit up from 21% in March. Only Lidl (32%), scored lower than Asda’s 40% on ham and, on sausages, only Budgens’ 71% was below Asda’s figure of 78%.
NPA chief executive Zoe Davies thanked those retailers that are backing British pork but described Asda’s performance as 'shocking', adding that the figures only reinforce concerns over the planned Sainsbury’s-Asda merger. “If Asda’s philosophy of shunning British pork is carried over to the new organisation, this could be very damaging for the British pork sector.”
Challenged to explain its position, an Asda spokesperson said: “We are committed to providing our customers with great value pork consistently from quality sources and will always provide a British option wherever possible.
“100% of our pork shoulder joints, mince, fillet, medallions and our Extra Special range is British pork and, for all our other pork products, including chops, steaks and barbecue, we offer a clearly labelled British version. We also fully support the British pig industry through the Red Tractor and Farm Assurance Schemes.”
None of this explains why eight of the other top 10 UK retailers manage to consistently stock 100% British fresh pork. The ninth, Tesco, increased its proportion of fresh British to 69% in May, more than the double the figure recorded for Asda.
While Asda is looking to source British 'wherever possible', the British pig industry pig industry can be grateful to its competitors who are backing Great British Pork because they understand the Great British Public demands no less!