Although processors and suppliers do not generally sell directly to consumers they have a vital role to play in ensuring that retailers, foodservice operators and branded manufacturers are in a position to provide accurate information to consumers.
Research shows that consumers want clear and unambiguous labelling on food packaging and menus so that they have the ability to make an informed choice. In the case of pork and pork products consumers are particularly interested in country of origin, pig production terms – such as free range – and the use of breed names.
It is essential for processors and suppliers to be transparent regarding a product’s journey through the supply chain so that retailers and foodservice operators are assured of its source.
The principal aim of the Code of Practice is to ensure that the country of origin is clearly displayed on the packs of branded and own label pork products. For example, terms such as ‘Produced in the UK’ can be ambiguous if origin is not qualified.
The key elements of the Code of Practice include:
- A commitment to clearly display the country of origin on retail packs
- Where single country of origin is displayed it means that the pig was born, reared and slaughtered in that country
- The term “produced in the UK” will not be used without qualification of the origin of the pork
- The use of national terms and symbols (such as flags) will mean that the pork comes from that country
- Product specific terms such as ‘Wiltshire Cure’ will mean that the pork used to make the product comes from within the UK. If not the origin will be clearly stated
- Imagery that could imply UK origin will only be used on UK origin product, otherwise there will be a statement of origin on the pack
Embracing provenance will undoubtedly strengthen a supplier’s working relationship with trade customers.