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Retail support for British pork remains steady at start of the year

14th Feb 2023 / By Alistair Driver

Supermarket support for British pork products remained steady at the start of this year, despite falling British pork supplies, the latest Porkwatch survey shows.

Estimated slaughtering figures for January confirm a significant tightening of supplies of UK pork, while trade figures up to November show, overall, higher volumes of pork imports coming into the country last year.

However, AHDB’s Porkwatch survey for January still shows relatively strong support for British pork products across the 11 retailers surveyed, with one or two exceptions.

Fresh pork

Overall, 84% of the fresh pork on display was British in January, down slightly from 85% in November and 87% at the September peak, but well up on the January 2022 figure of 80%.

Aldi, Co-op, M&S, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s all came out with 100% British fresh pork, with Waitrose on 99% and Lidl on 98%. The Tesco figure of 73% was down from 75% in November, with Asda on 57%, slightly below its November figure and Budgens on 75%. Iceland was just 14% British, compared with 44% in November.

Porkwatch Jan 23 pork bacon

Bacon

For bacon, the overall figure of 61% British was fractionally up on November and well ahead of the 55% recorded a year ago.

Co-op and M&S were both 100% British, with Waitrose on 96% and Sainsbury’s showing a big leap froward from 69% in November to 83% in January.

Going the other way was Asda, which dropped from 50% in November to just 38%, taking it below Tesco (48%) and Lidl (43%), with Morrisons on 51% and Aldi a relatively healthy 66%. Budgens recorded 27% and Iceland just 9%.

Ham

The overall figure for ham, at 64%, was slightly down on November and a year ago.

Again, it was just Co-op and M&S with 100% British, while Waitrose (92%), Aldi (84%) and Sainsbury’s (87%) also showed strong support British ham. Tesco was up slightly to 67% and Morrisons down to 60%, with the rest below 50%, including Lidl (36%), Asda (33%), Budgens (23%) and Iceland (15%).

Porkwatch ham saus Jan 23

Sausage

Across all the retailers surveyed, the proportion of British sausage facing, at 89%, was up slightly from November and from 86% in January 2022.

M&S, the only retailer to be totally British across the board, and Aldi were both 100% British, with Waitrose (96%), Co-op (91%), Sainsbury’s, Lidl (both 90%), Tesco and Asda (both 88%) and Morrisons (82%) all showing strong support. Budgens was 69% British and Iceland 64%.

NPA comment

NPA chief executive Lizzie Wilson said: “While there is always room for improvement, the latest Porkwatch data is generally very positive, given the current shortages of British pork. Retailers are largely continuing to provide their customers with fantastic British pork products and, as always we thank those who are clearly making this a priority.

“In the short-term, we want to see this continue as producers need the more buoyant pig price to be sustained, so that they can begin to claw back some of the horrendous losses they have endured over the past two years.

“In the longer-term, we will continue to push for reform of the supply chain so that risk and reward is more fairly distributed and to ensure British pork remains available on our retail shelves.”