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Old 10-01-2009, 11:43   #1
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Jamie Saves Our Bacon - Ch4 - January 29th

I thought I'd start a new thread for this program which is part of Ch4's Great British Food Fight.

For anyone interested it should give a very good insight into the levels of welfare employed by UK farmers vs continental farmers and where no-one's expecting it to heap massive amounts of praise on intensive production practices we are expecting it to increase the demand for British pork!

Here's a bit of insider info from the National Pig Association website ...

"Increased demand expected as Jamie champions British pork

The British pig industry is bracing itself to meet increased demand for Quality Standard Mark pork. In a couple of weeks Jamie Oliver will be doing for pigs and pork what he helped do for chickens and eggs.

Last year Jamie's Fowl Dinners looked at chicken and egg production, now he is turning his attention to the pig industry for the follow-up, The Great British Food Fight.

He will tell how Britain's pig farmers are going out of business and pork production in Britain is under threat. In his 90-minute programme he will attempt to find out why, and to examine what can be done to support farmers.

The programme is scheduled for January 29 on Channel 4.

Jamie Oliver says he wants to help consumers make better-informed choices about the food they eat, by showing exactly how pigs live and die to put pork, ham and bacon on consumers' plates.

With the help of the industry, from producers to retailers, he follows the production process from birth to slaughter and on to supermarket shelves. He looks at how pigs have been bred to suit the demand for lean meat and to maximise choice cuts.

He'll be investigating how the greater cost to British farmers of meeting higher welfare standards has left them open to competition from some mass producers from the European Union, who minimise costs, but may have questionable levels of animal welfare compared to British standards.

He will also looks at how food labeling is leaving customers who want to buy British confused. And he'll be cooking cheap, but tasty cuts of pork to feed a family on a budget."
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:21   #2
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Jamie Oliver gives me tourettes. I can't stop saying **** repeatedly whenever he appears on the tellybox.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:28   #3
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Me too, usually proceeded by "Moped riding, fat-tongued, mockney........"
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:34   #4
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I concur but the prog should still be good
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Old 10-01-2009, 13:43   #5
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Increased demand? Don't most supermarkets sell british pork mainly? Are people going to start buying more pork as a result? I can't see the share of Britsh pork increase as it must be close to 100% already.
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Old 10-01-2009, 15:24   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaj View Post
Increased demand? Don't most supermarkets sell british pork mainly? Are people going to start buying more pork as a result? I can't see the share of Britsh pork increase as it must be close to 100% already.
As a country we're 40% - 50% self sufficient in pork i.e. we have to import 50% - 60% of all the pork that we eat.
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Old 10-01-2009, 16:20   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpicker View Post
As a country we're 40% - 50% self sufficient in pork i.e. we have to import 50% - 60% of all the pork that we eat.
Have to?
or companies choose to as it's cheaper etc.
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Old 10-01-2009, 17:23   #8
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The world is a better place now I've discovered you can buy veggie "pork pies" in Sainsbury
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Old 10-01-2009, 17:38   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyWilson View Post
The world is a better place now I've discovered you can buy veggie "pork pies" in Sainsbury
That's just so wrong, veggie pork pies! They'll be doing veggie black pudding next!
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Old 10-01-2009, 20:01   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alsemail View Post
Have to?
Yes.
You can work out how many kgs of pork that all the pigs produced in the UK would produce per year.
Then there are companies like Taylor Nelson Sofres ( http://www.tnsglobal.com/ ) who collect and analyse market information. These companies can work out the total consumption of pork/pork products in the UK.

These 2 pieces of info tell us that as things stand we are only approx 45% self sufficient for pork as a country. This leaves us with 2 choices:
1) Don't import, let demand far outstrip supply and watch the price of pork rocket to levels where consumers will just not buy.
2) Import European pork to satisfy demand and keep a lid on prices

So I would say yes we have to import pork.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alsemail View Post
or companies choose to as it's cheaper etc.
Yes European pork is cheaper than our own for a couple of reasons:
a) A majority of EU farmers do not have the costs associated with higher welfare standards to contend with
b) They are more efficient than us and can produce more pigs per year

This means that supermarkets like imported pork because it allows them to increase sales via promotions and discounted prices and at the same time maintain (or even improve) margins.
Also, because of our dodgy labelling laws, you can label imported pork from (fro example) Dutch pigs as 'British' if the meat has been processed in Britain so the housewife is tricked into thinking she is buying british.
The public were made aware of this during the recent Irish dioxin debacle and hopefully this practice will soon be made illegal.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:56   #11
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Good Guardian article on this theme.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/ja...are-food-bacon

I'd always try and buy British pork, but wasn't aware of the labelling con before.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:08   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyWilson View Post
The world is a better place now I've discovered you can buy veggie "pork pies" in Sainsbury
Quorn now do little Scotch eggs too.

A bigger problem reported in the papers over the weekend is that we seem to have signed up to something that will drastically reduce our ability to grow staples like potatoes and onions using various chemicals. As the wettest part of the EU, this will impact on us the most and it seems to have been a case of we signed without reading the treaty properly.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:23   #13
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When I were a lad, meat was expensive and people appreciated it (and honestly this wasn't THAT long ago).
We seem to have lost all perspective of how much meat should cost.
I say enforce good farming practice, refuse to import meat that doesn't reach UK standards of welfare and let meat prices rise to the point where people treat it with the respect it deserves.

Everyone's a winner - the farmers get a fair price, the animals get treated properly and the people of Britain start bulking out their meat with vegetables and get more healthy as a consequence.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:45   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woz View Post
When I were a lad, meat was expensive and people appreciated it (and honestly this wasn't THAT long ago).
We seem to have lost all perspective of how much meat should cost.
That's a very good point, when I was young we didn't have chicken half as much as we have it now and when we did it was always as a roast on Sunday. I can never remember having chicken breasts, always just the whole bird.

Thinking about it we mainly seemed to have the cheaper cuts of meat like belly pork, neck of lamb, braising steak etc and a joint was just for Sunday & special occasions.

Last edited by anguk; 12-01-2009 at 10:47.
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:13   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Vodka View Post
Good Guardian article on this theme.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/ja...are-food-bacon

I'd always try and buy British pork, but wasn't aware of the labelling con before.
Going from that article it seems that the UK is already doing a much better job than the rest of Europe. Be interesting to see if Jamie takes on just UK farms or if he has he guts to try and confront farmers in any of the EU countries as well.
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Old 12-01-2009, 16:19   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpicker View Post
These 2 pieces of info tell us that as things stand we are only approx 45% self sufficient for pork as a country. This leaves us with 2 choices:
1) Don't import, let demand far outstrip supply and watch the price of pork rocket to levels where consumers will just not buy.
2) Import European pork to satisfy demand and keep a lid on prices
If jamie is successful then surely prices will go up if demand for British Pork increases?

Of course there's a third option, British farmers increase supply which would counter this.

You say that 50-60% of the pork we eat is imported. Like I say almost all the pork I've seen for sale is British I'm sure, so I can only assume that the rest is used as an ingredient in other products like pies and sausages (which I don't eat to be fair). Come to think of it I eat a lot of beef, maybe too much! I need to start eating chicken

As woz says meat should be expensive but I'm sure people will substitute it with other things than veg, which is expensive. In one of Jamies books he mentions they do this in italy, where they eat meat maybe once a week and have meat free meals the rest of the time.
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Old 12-01-2009, 23:04   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Vodka View Post
Good Guardian article on this theme.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/ja...are-food-bacon
Cheers JV I missed that last week. That was a very well written and accurate overview of the current pork situation. The Morgans are very good pig farmers by the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woz View Post
I say enforce good farming practice, refuse to import meat that doesn't reach UK standards of welfare and let meat prices rise to the point where people treat it with the respect it deserves.

Everyone's a winner - the farmers get a fair price, the animals get treated properly and the people of Britain start bulking out their meat with vegetables and get more healthy as a consequence.
In principle I agree with you, Woz and these points have been raised before within the industry but banning the import of meat from the EU would be illegal (how ironic!) and so it continues to flood in. Also the retailers would kick up one hell of a storm as their source of cheap meat would disappear! Interestingly the cost of importing this cheaper meat has increased 20% year on year due to the increasing strength of the euro.
This has resulted in making the more welfare-friendly, british pork a lot more cost competetive in recent weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHat001 View Post
Going from that article it seems that the UK is already doing a much better job than the rest of Europe. Be interesting to see if Jamie takes on just UK farms or if he has he guts to try and confront farmers in any of the EU countries as well.
He definitely will be going abroad to show viewers how pigs are raised in other EU countries (our company was advising his producers).
I don't think it will be a confrontational type of program though. Instead it will be aimed at educating the viewing public allowing them to make a more informed buying choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camaj View Post
If jamie is successful then surely prices will go up if demand for British Pork increases?

Of course there's a third option, British farmers increase supply which would counter this.
Not really.
The British pig industry is financially not very well off. In fact that's an understatement. It has halved in size over the last 10 yrs as rising costs and diminishing returns have forced a lot of farmers to quit.
A majority of those who have managed to stay in the job have been unable to reinvest in their units and as such are not in a position to simply ramp up production to take advantage of any extra demand created by this program. Pig production (any animal production for that matter) is not a tap that you can just turn on and off.
It takes over 10 months from getting a sow pregnant to her piglets going for slaughter so for anyone to take advantage of this rise in demand they would have to have started planning back in March 2008!

Quote:
Originally Posted by camaj View Post
You say that 50-60% of the pork we eat is imported. Like I say almost all the pork I've seen for sale is British I'm sure, so I can only assume that the rest is used as an ingredient in other products like pies and sausages (which I don't eat to be fair).
You may have fallen into the trap that retailers want you to fall into. They know that 'Britishness' is a strong selling point and they are very clever at making customers think they are buying british.
Whilst shopping in a supermarket the best way to guarantee that you are buying british meat (meat that is raised to welfare standards higher than those in the EU) is to look for this mark on the packaging ...



http://www.meatmatters.com/sections/...marks-pork.php
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Old 13-01-2009, 14:08   #18
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[QUOTE=pigpicker;8424630]
It takes over 10 months from getting a sow pregnant to her piglets going for slaughter so for anyone to take advantage of this rise in demand they would have to have started planning back in March 2008!Which is why the article is so strange. It talks about an increase in demand, presumably it won't be increase in demand for non-british pork, that's the whole point. So either British producers increase supply or the price goes up


Quote:
Whilst shopping in a supermarket the best way to guarantee that you are buying british meat (meat that is raised to welfare standards higher than those in the EU) is to look for this mark on the packaging ...
That's exactly the basis for my comment. Like I say, foreign meat is probably used as an ingredient where you wouldn't notice the absence of the mark. That said I'm sure sainsbury's TTD sausages have it, but I rarely buy pork.
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Old 29-01-2009, 23:41   #19
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So did anyone watch this?
I thought it was really well done. I even warmed slightly to Mr Oliver!
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Old 29-01-2009, 23:50   #20
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Yes I watched it, I'm not a great pork fan but we do get bacon and sausages occasionally. From now on we'll be double checking for the British pork standard mark, no mark, no sale!

Quite frankly I'm disgusted that we can import pork that is produced in conditions that would be (quite rightly) illegal here. Our farmers don't have a chance.
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