deliciouslyorkshire is campaigning for national supermarket brands to support British meat producers during the upcoming wheat price hikes.
Experts are predicting that the current shortage of wheat is expected to lead to a huge hike in prices during 2011, causing problems for British Farmers who use wheat-based grain to feed their animals.
According to deliciouslyorkshire member and owner of a pork business, Anna Longthorp, there is a danger that British meat producers could suffer irreparably as consumers choose cheaper imported meat instead.
Anna of Anna’s Happy Trotters explained:
“Being free range we’re more exposed to weather conditions and pigs need to eat more to keep warm and therefore need to eat more to grow.”
Ultimately, the price hikes felt by the farmers will be passed on to the consumer, as the price of British meat in supermarkets will soar.
Some Yorkshire farmers are concerned that this could lead to the disappearance of British meat in certain supermarkets, as cheaper imported meats are favoured.
Jonathan Knight, chief executive of deliciouslyorkshire, said: “We need to support British meat producers at this difficult time.
“It is important to remember that British pork is not only of a higher quality but it also meets strict welfare standards, which imported meat do not.”
British Pig Executive Boss Mick Sloyan said: “The UK pig industry had been operating at a disadvantage in recent years owing to the disparity between welfare standards in the UK and Continental Europe.”
Anna Longthorp’s products are sold across the region to butchers and restaurants, and also now supplies to Waitrose who sell her meat under its own brand label.
This contract is beneficial as Waitrose take into account costs to farmers before pricing, allowing Anna to make a small profit however, as she explains, other farmers are not so lucky
“There will be an awful lot of farmers out there that will be producing at a loss at this point in time, with costs higher than other supermarkets are willing to pay”, she said.
In order to support British Farmers, consumers should look for the red tractor on produce in supermarkets which confirms it is British.
If demand for home-produced meat increases supermarkets will be willing to pay more to support our local farmers at this important time.