Discount retailer Aldi has been praised for boosting sales of pork at a time when pig farmers are running at a loss.
The National Pig Association (NPA) has praised the supermarket chain, which sells 100% British fresh pork, for boosting its sales of British and Scottish pork by 10% in the last month.
NPA chairman Richard Lister, who farms in Yorkshire, said: “British pig farmers are struggling with their lowest real-terms prices in 16 years, and some will have to quit this year if things don’t improve. So we are particularly encouraged by this latest news from Aldi.”
He said pig farmers were reliant on retailers to help them through the current crisis by putting more British pork on their shelves and promoting it strongly.
“Aldi recognises the importance of the independently-audited welfare and traceability standards that underpin the quality of British pork, and shoppers are responding by buying more. It’s support like this that encourages us to struggle on until the price we receive once again covers our costs of production,” added Mr Lister.
NPA chief executive, Dr Zoe Davies, said Aldi’s support for British pork could be pivotal in stopping pig farmers plunging further into the red.
She praised the retailer’s efforts to increase mid-week pork sales, including its move to switch the meat used for its ready-to-cook gammon from European to British.
In January and February Aldi launched eight pork promotions for products such as sausages, large packs of pork medallions, slow-cooked gammon shanks and pork fillets with apple butter.
“We know from Aldi that these promotions proved very popular with customers, so are likely to be repeated,” said Dr Davies.
She backed the retailers plans for new pork promotions over the next couple of months for products such as sausage casserole, pork and sweet chilli sausages and pork shanks banded with rosemary.
Pig prices are currently at their lowest level since 2008, and the lowest level in real-terms since 2000.
A report published earlier this month warned that if prices stayed at their current level – around 20p a kilo below the cost of production – UK pig farmers could be on track to collectively lose £150million this year.