Pig task force starts work on supply chain

The Pig Meat Task Force met for the first time yesterday to discuss the biggest challenges facing the supply chain.

The 17 members of the group, who include pig farmers, processors, retailers and government representatives, agreed to work on areas of common concern for the benefit of consumers and the industry itself.

The task force, which was set up by Defra, is hoping to improve the resilience of the supply chain through: investigating how a standardised labelling scheme could be introduced; looking at how to improve pig health; examining how to increase the amount of produce reared to British welfare standards bought through public sector procurement and addressing the regulatory burden on the supply chain.

Farming Minister Jane Kennedy said: "It's fitting that the Task Force should meet for the first time during Bacon Connoisseurs' Week. I'm extremely encouraged by the fact that all sections of the supply chain - from producers to retailers - want to get round the table and see what improvements can be made.

"I want the group to improve things for consumers and the supply chain by delivering on issues such as clearer labelling, better pig health, and greater public sector procurement of higher welfare products. The industry needs action and results."

The Task Force will carry out its work over the next 12 months. There will then be a review to determine whether it should continue.