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Retail support for British pork holds up, but bacon, ham and sausage all down - Porkwatch latest

25th Aug 2023 / By Alistair Driver

Support for British pork products on retail shelves remained relatively strong during July, despite tight supplies and high pork prices, according to the latest AHDB Porkwatch survey.

It showed that, across the 10 retailers surveyed, 88% of pork on display was British, unchanged from May and up from 86% in July 2022.

Porkwatch July 23 pork bacon

For other pigmeat categories, the proportion of British products on retail shelves was down on a year ago.  The figure for British bacon, at 55%, was also unchanged on May, but down from 59% a year ago. 

The 64% of British ham on display was down from 65% in May and 67% in July 2022, while British sausage, at 78%, was down from 79% in May and markedly below the 89% figure a year ago.

Porkwatch ham saus Jul 23

The retailers

  • Aldi, Co-op, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s all stocked 100% British fresh pork, with Waitrose at 94%, including 100% British on its own label products.
  • Asda displayed 71% British pork, well up from 60% in July 2022, with Tesco on 77%, the same as a year ago.
  • Iceland stocked no British pork.
  • M&S was close to 100% British across the board, except for 99% on ham, while Co-op stocked 100% British bacon, 94% British ham and 70% British sausage – and 100% British across all four own label categories.
  • Waitrose was between 94% and 97% on bacon, ham and sausage – and also close to 100% British on its own label products.
  • Sainsbury’s was steady across the board, from 76%-89% for bacon, ham and sausage, while Morrisons was down year-on-year for bacon, from 62% to just 34%, and sausage, from 85% to 76%.
  • Aldi was strong on British sausage, at 95%, and ham, at 79%, albeit down from 90% in July 2022, but displayed just 20% British bacon, down from 61% in July 2022.
  • Lidl recorded a similar figure on sausage, 91%, but just 18% on bacon, half the figure of July 2022, and 37% on ham, also well down year on year.
  • Tesco was also well down on bacon, at 38% compared with 49% a year ago, and recorded 64% on ham and 73% on sausage, down from 84% in July 2022.
  • Asda was also down on bacon, from 38% to 30%, and sausage, from 88% to 75%, but up on ham, to 42% from 26% a year ago.
  • Iceland recorded just 12% British for bacon, 18% for ham and 42% for sausage.

Imports rising

The latest pork trade figures from HMRC show that, while overall pigmeat import volumes are down by 8% over the first six months of the year due to falling EU production and high prices, the tide was starting to turn.

In June, pigmeat import volumes, at 68,000 tonnes, were 8% higher than in June 2022, the second successive monthly increase.

NPA reaction

NPA chief executive Lizzie Wilson said: “Considering the decline in domestic production this year, it is encouraging to see that retail support for British pork, in particular, is holding, although declines in other categories are concerning, especially considering sausages and bacon are enjoying a rare increase in sales volumes.

“We encourage all retailers to back British pig producers, as the sector seeks recovery, not just by committing to buying their products, but by giving them long-term security and confidence to invest through fair pricing and contract terms.”