Retailers accused of retreating on post-horsegate promises

Industry leaders are concerned that, despite the horsemeat scandal, foundations for another food scandal are being laid.

The National Pig Association (NPA) has said it is worried that some retailers are edging away from the shorter supply chains “they promised following horsegate”.

Several pork, bacon and gammon lines have been switched back to imported products, the NPA said, claiming this was because it was “marginally cheaper” for the retailers.

The NPA has said it will not name the retailers concerned until it has had meetings with them, which it will do in order “to find out their reasons for retreating from their post-Horsegate promises to introduce short supply chains”.

NPA general manager Dr Zoe Davies said: “Since the heat has come off the horsemeat scandal we’ve started to see retailers sliding back from the strong British position they publicly adopted, and import more European product.

“Consumers expect supermarkets to deliver on their post-horsegate commitments to shorten their supply chains by buying safe food produced in Britain. If they think they can return to their old habits as soon as our backs are turned, they had better think again, because we won’t let this matter drop and nor will our friends in the National Farmers’ Union.”

Last week the NPA revealed that Britain imported around 60% of its pork and pork products and said this could be reduced if retailers “were genuinely committed to building shorter supply chain agreements with British producers”.