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Initiative launched to boost the future of British pigs and poultry

Producers, processors and suppliers are being called on to promote the best of British food and farming as part of an initiative to boost sales of home-grown pork, poultry and eggs.

The 2012 British Pig and Poultry Fair’s ‘Champion Pork and Poultry Initiative’ is urging producers to help tell the public about why they should choose British. By doing things like displaying banners, hosting farm visits and using social media, the Initiative wants farmers to do their bit to tell to consumers about the high-welfare, excellent quality produce British farmers have to offer. It also wants pig and poultry producers to tell the public how they are working to protect the environment and making an important contribution to the British economy.

The Champion Pork and Poultry Initiative will be officially launched at the Royal Agricultural Society’s British Pig and Poultry Fair, which will take place at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, on 15 and 16 May. Visitors to the Fair will be provided with advice and ideas on how to talk to consumers about British produce, such as how to organise school visits, getting media coverage and using social media.

Nick Bragg, who produces 820,000 birds a year on his broiler unit in South Petherton, Somerset, hosts more than 1000 school children and holds open evenings on his farm.

“A huge part of my job as a farmer is to help people understand where food comes from and break down some of the barriers that exist between producers and consumers,” he said.

“Visitors expect broilers to be in cages, but once they enter the sheds they are generally astounded in a good way. As well as helping show people how British poultry is produced, it gives me a real buzz to see people learning and enjoying my farm.”

Event Partners ABN are also doing their bit, rolling out the Red Tractor meat quality mark across their fleet of lorries - which cover over 6.4 million road miles a year.

“The Red Tractor scheme is a great platform to tell consumers about the quality of British meat and encourage it into consumers’ shopping baskets,” said Nigel Lee, ABN business development manager.

Alice Bell, assistant director of RASE events, said the Initiative would help boost the profile of British producers who had been struggling in the face of rising input costs and poor prices.

“Consumers have many misconceptions about pig and poultry production and that a little information goes a long way to helping them make informed choices,” she added.

“We have so much to tell about the way we are improving our environmental credentials to provide affordable, good quality food while protecting the British countryside.

“Everyone in the industry can take some simple steps to do their bit and help raise awareness of British pork and poultry. If everyone does a little we can achieve a lot.”

5 things to tell consumers about British pig, poultry and egg production:

  • We produce the delicious, safe, affordable food that millions of people enjoy every day
  • The health and welfare of our pigs and chickens is our number one priority
  • We care for the environment
  • Sustainability is important to us
  • Pig and poultry production is important to the economy

5 top ideas to Champion Pork & Poultry

  • Display a banner on the edge of your farm
  • Write an article for your local newspaper
  • Arrange a farm visit by local schools or community groups
  • Use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word
  • Get coverage on local radio
  • Engage with your local customers, restaurants and supermarkets to encourage them to stock British

For more ideas and resources visit the Pig and Poultry website or come along to the resource centre at the Fair.