Pig producers in the UK are calling for tighter legislation to govern the labelling of pork. Many producers claim that a current loophole in the law is allowing some processors to pass off foreign pork as British.
Indeed, the National Pig Association (NPA), which represents British pig farmers, claims many consumers mistakenly believe pork products are British because the companies that make them do not have state where the meat came from before it was processed.
The issue is a matter of some importance to the country's pork producers. Since the beginning of the year, imports of pork, ham and bacon have risen by almost a third.
Domestic farmers claim that British pig meat is produced to far higher standards - both in terms of quality and welfare - than in other European countries. There is a danger therefore that the legal loophole could lower the prestige of British pork.
Indeed, the NPA's chairman Stewart Houston believes that some firms are exploiting the fact that they have very British names. A company that uses British meat to produce products may in fact be using foreign meat as they are not obliged to indicate where the meat actually comes from.
As a consequence, the association is calling for clear labelling of products to indicate the country of origin. It intends to present evidence to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to show the labelling of products in British supermarkets can be misleading.
The British Pig Executive, which represents producers and retailers in the industry, has also produced a report on pig meat being imported into the UK. The executive's findings indicate that the number of pigs being produced to UK standards in countries importing to Britain is inadequate to meet the volume of meat which is in fact being imported.
The results suggest that the meat being produced to meet the shortfall is not being produced to British standards.