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18 June 2010 11:14:02 |Pigs,News

Demand for higher welfare sees pork sales rise


New research today reveals people are choosing to buy more Freedom Food labelled pork products than ever before. This comes just two months after the RSPCA-owned charity reported record-breaking sales of Freedom Food chicken.
The research - carried out by Kantar Worldpanel - revealed overall growth and consumer spending on Freedom Food pre-packed pork products (including fresh pork, sausages, bacon and cooked ham) has increased by a staggering 64 per cent. This is an increase of 18.6 million pounds, from 29.2 million to more than 47.8 million since May last year.*
The growth in the amount of Freedom Food pork products sold in supermarkets is also up 80 per cent (more than three million kilos) – from just four million to more than seven million kilos.
According to Leigh Grant, Freedom Food’s chief executive, the upsurge in consumer demand and spending on Freedom Food pork products is having a very direct impact on improving pig welfare.
"We have seen the number of pigs reared to RSPCA welfare standards dramatically increase by 26 per cent - from less than 1.6 million animals two years ago, to more than 1.9 million today as a direct result of consumer demand," he said.
"That’s 400,000 more pigs having a better life under Freedom Food, and means Freedom Food now accounts for about 21 per cent of UK pig production. It just goes to show the power that shoppers have to make real changes to animals’ lives through what they choose to buy."
The research also showed:
• Largest area of growth in consumer spending – out of four different pork products analysed – was fresh pork which increased more than 13.6 million pounds, from nearly 2.7 to 16.4 million
• Sausages came second with a more than six million pound increase in shopper spending from 15.6 million to nearly 21.7 million pounds
Today’s news comes less than 18 months after separate campaigns were launched by the RSPCA (’Rooting for Pigs’) and Jamie Oliver (’Jamie Saves Our Bacon’ on Channel 4) to improve pig welfare.
It also follows new research from Mintel last month which revealed that animal welfare is Britain’s number one food concern with as many as four in ten (40%) Brits worried about this issue.
Sainsbury’s is the largest retailer of Freedom Food pork, followed by The Co-operative and Tesco.
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