The British pig industry offers a unique diversity of production systems to meet all price points.
Alongside high quality Red Tractor Assured, you can also buy RSPCA assured, free range or organic pork. 40% of the British breeding herd is kept outdoors – no other major pig producing nation comes anywhere close!
British pork is famously delicious, whether it comes in the form of pork chops, sausages, bacon or many, many other wonderful products. You can find lots of fantastic recipes at the Love Pork website It is nutritious and healthy, too, for example, providing vital sources of B12 and iron and playing a key part in a healthy balanced diet.
There is another good news story about British pork that not everybody knows. British pig producers, in partnership with their vets and others in the supply chain, have made phenomenal progress in recording and reducing antibiotic usage.
Overall usage has reduced by 63% since 2015 and use of antibiotics in our pigs that are also important in humans is down to ‘negligible’ levels. The British pig sector’s approach to responsible use of antibiotics has won widespread praise, including from within Government. In fact, our sector is now seen as a pioneer in this respect.
The British pig sector already has a positive story to tell with regard to its environmental impact, but it continues to seek further improvements with a focus on air and water quality, net zero and efficiency, and feed. For example the industry is actively trying to reduce its reliance on soya by decreasing protein levels in pig diets and investigating alternative protein sources, whilst sourcing sustainably produced soya which is deforestation and land conversion free.
We have worked hard to improve our performance to ensure we produce pork as efficiently as possible to limit our environmental footprint as much as we can, whilst still maintaining the high welfare standards we’re passionate about, and farmers are subject to stringent environmental legislation designed to protect the air, soil, water and natural habitats which surround their farms.
British pig farmers are rightly proud of the high welfare standards that exist here, regardless of whether their pigs are reared indoors or outdoors. Compared to most EU countries, where 60% of the pork we eat is imported from, British pig farms do not use sow stalls, use far more straw and do not castrate their boars. Britain is unique in that it rears pigs in a multitude of different systems, giving customers more choice across a range of different price points to ensure that our wonderful tasty pork is affordable by all.
The latest ‘Real Welfare’ report, a unique scheme that looks at welfare outcomes from millions of individual veterinary checks on British pigs, found high levels of pig welfare across the industry and this continues to improve year on year.
The British pig sector is extremely proud of its standards and is renowned for its excellent track record on food safety, good pig health and welfare and environmental protection, which is seen as a selling point both in the domestic and global markets.
The farms are independently audited five times a year under farm assurance schemes, the biggest of which is Red Tractor, which covers 95% of British pigs produced. Purchasing non-British pork does not provide the same confidence as there is far less control and scrutiny over the farms and standards to which the pigs are reared.
You can find out more about British Pig Farming by watching a video on YouTube by clicking on the find out more button below.
Hear from Chloe as to why she's proud to be a British Pig Farmer!