Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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New focus for pig meat supply chain

New focus for pig meat supply chain

DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS News Release (61/09) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 19 March 2009

Pig farmers, meat processors, retailers, and the Government have agreed to work on areas of common concern for the benefit of consumers and the industry itself.

The seventeen members of the new Pig Meat Supply Chain Task Force, set up to identify the biggest challenges faced by the industry and suggest solutions, met for the first time yesterday.

The group is working to improve the resilience of the supply chain through:

* investigating how a standardised code of practice for clearer labelling could be introduced;
* improving pig herd health;
* examining how to increase the amount of produce reared to higher 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 like clearer labelling, better pig health, and greater public sector procurement of higher welfare products. The industry needs action and results."

The Task Force comprises:

* Jane Kennedy, Minister for Farming and the Environment (Chair);
* Stewart Houston, Chairman of the National Pig Association (NPA);
* Barney Kay, NPA General Manager;
* Richard Lister, producer and Chairman of the NPA Producer Group;
* Mick Sloyan, Chief Executive of BPEX;
* John Hughes of Tulip;
* Bill Thurston of Vion;
* Adrian Dowling of Bowes of Norfolk;
* Bernard Hoggarth of Cranswick;
* Simon Galkoff of Whitbread;
* Nick Scrase from ASDA;
* Simon Twigger from Sainsbury's;
* Colin Holmes from Tesco;
* Andrew Thornber from Morrisons;
* Jan Anderson of Yorkshire Forward;
* Trisha Henton from the Environment Agency;
* Susan Knox representing consumer bodies; and
* Ian Platt of Baxter Storey.

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.

Notes to Editors

1. More information on the Pig Meat Supply Chain Task Force can be found at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2009/090217b.htm .

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