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NPA’s‘Exercise Compliance’ Checks For Illegal Pigmeat

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NPA’s‘Exercise Compliance’ Checks For Illegal Pigmeat

NPA’s‘Exercise Compliance’ Checks For Illegal Pigmeat
May 03
08:22 2013

The British pig industry has started checking that pork from illegal European Union farms is not entering the British food chain. National Pig Association’s ‘Exercise Compliance’ follows the outstanding success of its website Wall of Fame, where the UK’s top retailers and brands have pledged not to sell pork or pork products from continental farms that are flouting the European sow stalls ban.

Even though they were given ten years notice, over 60 percent of European Union countries have failed to comply with Europe’s sow stalls ban, which was introduced at the beginning of this year, points out NPA.. Working with the United Kingdom government, NPA is determined to stop pork from these lower-welfare farms being sold to unsuspecting British consumers.

Exercise Compliance will involve selecting imported pork products at random and asking the British companies that sell them to trace them back to their farms of origin – to prove the farms in question really have implemented the stalls ban.

“We believe the British food companies that have made the pledge on our Wall of Fame have conscientiously done what we asked of them, by gaining commitments from their suppliers that only pork from legal farms has been used,” says NPA regions manager Lizzie Press. “But now we want to test those statements by tracing randomly selected packs back to their farms of origin.”

NPA has already visited the Netherlands with retailer Asda to visit two farms that produce pork for the Asda supply chain. Lizzie Press adds: “Although we visited only a representative sample, it was clear both farms were fully compliant with the sow stalls ban and we were satisfied with the farm standards we observed.”

The United Kingdom unilaterally banned sow stalls outright 14 years ago, but the European Union did not introduce the ban for all European Union farms until January this year – although continental farmers were warned in 2003 of the January 2013 implementation date.

And even now the ban is only partial. Although sows can no longer be confined in stalls for most of their productive lives they can still be legally kept in stalls for about 20 percent of the time.

The European Commission has started infraction proceedings against nine countries – Denmark, Poland, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Germany, France, Cyprus and Portugal – but it is a long process which can take over a year. “So it remains essential that sourcing continues to be robust and monitored,” says NPA.

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