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Porkwatch latest: Retail support for British pork products falls

20th Dec 2022 / By Alistair Driver

The proportion of British pork products displayed by UK retailers fell in November, although it remains ahead of 2021 levels, the latest AHDB Porkwatch survey shows.

The November survey showed fresh pork facings across the 11 retailers surveyed at 85% British, down from the recent high of 87% in September, but still well ahead of the 80% recorded in 2021.

Porkwatch pork bacon Nov 22Similarly, the figure for bacon was down from 63% in September to 60% but compared favourably with the 54% of November 2021, while the proportion of British ham fell more significantly from 73% in September to 65% in November, slightly up on a year ago.

Sausage was the only category to record an increase on September, up slightly to 88%, remaining above year earlier levels.

Porkwatch ham saus Nov 22In terms of fresh pork, Aldi, Co-op, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s all recorded 100% British, with Waitrose on 99%. However, Asda recorded a substantial reduction in British fresh pork, down from 66% in September to 58%, with Tesco dropping from 75% to 73%. Budgens was down from 98% to 85%, Iceland was up from 27% to 44%.

M&S recorded 100% across all categories, with the Co-op at 100% across three categories and 92% on sausage and Waitrose between 93 to 99% for the four categories.

Notable support elsewhere came from Aldi, which the survey showed stocked 100% British sausage, with Lidl at 86%.

Sainsbury’s scored highly for British ham and sausage, 91% and 88% respectively, but recorded a big drop in British bacon facings, from 79% in September to 69%, with Morrisons also seeing a notable drop in bacon, from 57% to 51%. Tesco was down from 52% to 47% for bacon and from 69% to 65% for ham.

Reversing the trend, Asda recorded a welcome increase in British bacon, from 43% in September to 50% in November, but its proportion of ham that is British fell to just 26%, the lowest across all retailers, bar Iceland. The frozen food specialist recorded just 20% for ham, although that comfortably surpassed its 6% figure for bacon.

Budgens was down across all categories, including from 50% to just 24% for bacon and from 68% to 42% for ham.

NPA reaction

NPA chief executive Lizzie Wilson said it was ‘disappointing’ to see a reduction in the proportion of British products on display across the big retailers.

“We have seen better support for British pork products in recent months, certainly compared with last year, but the November survey suggests this is starting to slip. As always, we thank those retailers who continue to back our beleaguered British pork producers, in some cases with 100% British or close to it across the categories.

“But as we approach the traditionally difficult New Year period for the pork market, we urge all retailers to take a long-term perspective in their sourcing and pricing policies to give hope to our UK pork producers who have taken such a battering over the past two years – and to prevent a further contraction of the UK pig herd.”