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Latest porkwatch survey results show retailers stocking less pigmeat than a year ago

1st Sep 2016 / By Alistair Driver

The UK's retailers are stocking less British pigmeat than a year ago, the latest figures from AHDB Pork's Porkwatch survey show.

As ever, the regular survey paints a mixed picture of the level of commitment to British pork among the major UK supermarkets.

Overall, there was a 5 per cent fall in British bacon stocked on supermarket shelves in July, compared with a year ago, alongside small decreases in the proportion of British pork and ham.

This suggests there was no immediate shift in retail sourcing policies in response to the post-Brexit fall in the value of the pound, although the July survey might simply be too early to reflect this.

While Waitrose and M&S continue to set the benchmark with close to 100 per cent British sourcing, Asda and Tesco continue to disappoint.

Asda, although comfortably bottom of the pile, has at least made encouraging strides in upping its British offering through the summer although it is still far short of the 80% target for fresh British pork promised to NPA back in March. Tesco, however, is moving in the other direction, sourcing less British fresh pork and bacon than it was a year ago.

The Porkwatch survey is carried out every other month by AHDB using professional researchers to measure supermarket shelf facings rather than volume, although the two are closely linked.


Some of the highlights are summarised below:

Overall 82 per cent of pork, 46 per cent of bacon, 65 per cent of ham and 84 per cent of sausage were identified as British.
Compared with a year ago, bacon 5 per cent down and pork and ? both 1 per cent down. But compared with May, the proportion of British pork and ham were up 3 per cent and 2 per cent respectively, while bacon and ham were both 1 per cent down.
On pork, Aldi, Budgens, the Co-op M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Waitrose all scored 100 per cent. Bottom of the pile was Asda with 57 per cent, although that represented a notable 27 per cent increase on May.
On bacon, M&S and Waitrose scored 100 per cent, followed by Co-op (69 per cent). Asda's 28 per cent was the lowest score (although 18 per cent up on May), with Sainsbury's (34 per cent) and Tesco (38 per cent) only marginally better.
On ham, M&S and Waitrose both scored 97 per cent, followed by Sainsbury's 93 per cent. Lidl, at just 26 per cent, ensured Asda's miserly (but, again, improving) 34 per cent was not the worst.
But on sausage, Lidl came out on top with 100 per cent, alongside fellow discounter Aldi, with Waitrose on 97 per cent. Bottom of the league, again, is Asda with 76 per cent (8 per cent up on May).
There were some big increases in Red Tractor usage, notably Asda, Morrisons and Budgens on ham, which overall recorded a 28 per cent increase. But the overall Red Tractor numbers - pork (56 per cent), bacon (23 per cent), ham (14 per cent) and sausage (50 per cent) - leave much room for improvement.

NPA's Zoe Davies said: "As ever, this useful survey paints a mixed picture, with thanks going to those who continue to offer strong support for the British pig industry.

"As for Asda and Tesco, these latest figures at least show Asda is sourcing more British but it has a long way still to go. We are disappointed to see Tesco sourcing less British pigmeat."

"Overall, with post-Brexit exchange rates making British pigmeat cheaper relative to imported competition, we expect to see some big strides forward in the next survey."