A call to end porkies

British pig bosses are calling on the supermarkets to change

misleading labels on pork products.

A BPEX survey found that one in four products still had no clear country of origin label, and is demanding manufacturers stop a misleading practice of using traditional British brand names on imported pork.

The BPEX labelling report claimed while there were some examples of clear labelling on retailer own-brand products, it also highlighted bad

practices, such as labels that read "Produced in the UK" when the product used imported pork.

Sidney Hackett and Waterside Farm were two brands that came in for particular criticism. Both brands are made from imported meat, yet Sidney Hackett pork comes with a picture of a traditional English butcher on the front, and Waterside Farm pork features rolling green hills.

At the report launch, BPEX chairman Stewart Houston said this needed to stop: "This is not a breach of legislation, but it comes close because it is misleading.

Retailers should be responsible for tertiary brands." Lord Whitty, chairman of the National Consumer Council, backed the report: "The NCC recognises consumers look for price and quality and are now interpreting quality as provenance and welfare. If the product is British, it means high welfare standards, so

British means something other than patriotism," he said.

Richard Lowe, marketing director of BPEX, said clearer labelling will benefit retailers as well as consumers. He highlighted the case of an unnamed supermarket which labelled all its pork clearly with the country of origin and sold 6% more pork.