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Sainsbury's switches to 100% locally sourced pork products

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Posted on 10/07/2013 by Wayne Brophy FCILT

Six months after the horse meat scandal, food suppliers throughout the UK are looking for more ways to increase supply chain transparency and invest in locally sourced products. Sainsbury’s is the latest retailer to jump on the bandwagon, vowing to source 100 per cent of its pork from British farms. The revised sourcing strategy takes effect today (July 10th).

Prior to the move, Sainsbury’s already sourced a number of its meat products from domestic farms. As of July 3rd, all of Sainsbury’s chicken comes from British poultry farmers. Additionally, ham and sausage are certified 100 per cent British. By 2020, the retailer plans to source half of all the food it sells from UK farmers.

Sue Lockhart, head of agriculture at Sainsbury’s, said in a statement: “Sourcing food closer to home and developing even stronger links with farmers is a key part of continuing to lead on fresh food. Our customers trust us to source the very best fresh food in a sustainable way and we’re pleased to announce fresh pork as our latest progress.”

By switching to domestically sourced pork, Sainsbury’s joins the ranks of supermarkets investing in domestic products. Waitrose has made a similar revision to its procurement strategy, opting for 100 per cent British beef in its frozen items. Tesco, hit hardest by the horse meat scandal, has made similar promises, vowing to source all of its chicken product lines from local farms in the UK.

Food and farming minister David Heath commented: “Choosing British meat and dairy is a positive way to support British farming and enjoy locally sourced food.”

Pork farmers throughout the UK welcome the news. Meryl Ward, farmer and member of Sainsbury’s pork development group, said: “The commitment will give farmers confidence to invest in their business as they have a guaranteed order with a major retailer.”

Sainsbury’s still has room for improvement, however, as the retailer’s bacon and gammon product lines still come from a combination of British, Danish and Dutch farms.

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