Oliver sets his sights on pig industry

Television chef Jamie Oliver is to turn his attention to the British pig industry in a new documentary called 'Jamie Saves Our Bacon.'

With the help of the industry, from producers to retailers, Oliver will follow the production process from birth to slaughter and finally to supermarket shelves.

He will also investigate how the greater cost to UK farmers of meeting higher welfare standards has left them open to competition from some mass producers from the EU, which minimise costs, but may have questionable levels of animal welfare compared to British standards.

Oliver said: "70% of the pork we import is from countries with lower welfare standards than ours and would have been illegal to produce here."

The 90-minute programme will look at how pigs have been bred to suit demand for lean meat and to maximise the choice cuts and how the food labelling system is leaving customers who want to buy British confused.

Oliver added: "All our farmers want is a level playing field."

Jamie Saves Our Bacon will be aired in January and features the Essex-born chef cooking a number of pork dishes that can feed a family on a budget.

The show is part of Channel 4's Great British Food Fight season which also includes a documentary called 'Pig Business' which investigates intensive pig farming methods and its effects on human and environmental health.