Monday, March 24, 2008

Support British Pig Farmers

I just wanted to post something about this campaign after seeing an ad for it on the Tube this morning.

Top quality pork is without doubt the vital ingredient of a great British sausage so it's not nice to think that British pig farmers are facing a future so uncertain that they need a campaign like this.

Here's part of the open letter drawn up for the campaign:

"...Feed – mostly wheat – is about half the cost of rearing a pig. But wheat prices have rocketed worldwide: as a result, pig farmers’ businesses – which get no subsidies – are under serious threat.

Due to price pressure from supermarkets, farmers are now being paid around £1.10 per kg for a pig that now costs them £1.44 per kg to produce. For every pig a farmer rears and sells, he is likely to lose over £20.

This can't go on. Today, we're launching our campaign to press the supermarkets to ensure that pig farmers are paid a fair and sustainable price. Continual pressure on the price of pork, bacon and ham will squeeze the life out of pig farming.
We need the supermarkets to pay an extra 34p per kg to help preserve British pig farming.

If this price rise were passed on to shoppers, it would only mean between 7p and 17p on the pack price of typical pork products.

We think it is a small price worth paying and we’re asking British consumers to back us.

Sounds fair to me. Cheap, low quality sausages are depressingly all too common (as some of the reviews on this blog demonstrate) and the situation will only get worse if the supply of meat diminishes or becomes a 'niche market'. 

Why aren't good quality, fresh pork bangers the staple of every British cafe, rather than the revolting, mechanically reclaimed rubbish you so often find? I'd be happy to pay a little extra and I'm sure you would too.

Find out more about the campaign on the official website:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

EAT. (various locations)

Eat is a chain of sandwich shops that can be found across London and in a number of locations around the UK. They specialize in freshly made, packaged sandwiches and lunches similar to the ubiquitous Pret a Manger.

I didn't realize until recently that they also have a hot breakfast menu which includes a toasted sausage muffin.

I was quite surprised at how good this was. The muffin is toasted quickly in a panini grill, which squashes it almost flat. The muffin only contains (I'm guessing) one small, sliced sausage but it's good quality, nice and herby and quite aromatic when combined with the crispy, grilled muffin. With the addition of brown sauce this was actually a very good sausage sandwich and puts many cafes I've reviewed to shame. It's a flavoursome and fresh-tasting sausage sandwich.

My only criticism is that the sandwich is quite small - snack size, you could say - but if you need a fix of sausage and bread and you're watching your waistline, that might not be a bad thing at all.

4 out of 5.