Waitrose has revealed the majority of Brits are in the dark when it comes to European Union pig farming standards.The retailer said 70% of UK consumers are unaware of the conditions imported pigs are reared in, and almost 60% will now stop eating foreign pork.
An additional 85% of respondents to the poll - conducted by YouGov for Waitrose - said they want to see clearer labels on pork products so they can be sure of the origins of the meat.
Currently, retailers can label meat imported from abroad as British if it has been processed in the UK.The statistics come after TNS said this week free-range chicken sales have remained robust despite the recession.
Mark Price, Waitrose managing director, said: "There is still a real lack of awareness about the volume of imported pork and the fact that most of these pigs have been reared in intensive farming conditions. "Our research proves that when given clear information British people are willing to make buying decisions based on welfare standards. "UK pork may cost a little more but you can enjoy your bacon roll with a clear conscience and rest assured that you are also supporting the British pig industry."
The British Pig Executive has said three-quarters of the pigs imported for consumption are reared in conditions that would be illegal in Britain.Pigs reared in dark areas and narrow metal cages suffer from muscle weakness, digestive problems and cardiovascular problems, Waitrose said.