The Co-op has launched a new 100% Scottish Ayrshire-style bacon made from Specially Selected Pork as part of its commitment to supporting Scottish farmers.
The bacon, which is produced under the retailer’s own-brand, premium Irresistible range, is cured by hand and air-dried for up to 21 days to develop its unique signature flavour.
Bearing the Specially Selected Pork approved by the Scottish SPCA label, to highlight the high welfare standard of pigs on Scottish farms, it is available to buy in 60 Co-op stores across the country priced at £2.79.
In addition, four existing Co-op Irresistible bacon products will now be produced entirely from Specially Selected Pork and are available in 347 stores nationwide.
They are: Irresistible Dry Cured Smoked Bacon (£2.79), Irresistible Dry Cured Unsmoked Bacon, (£2.79), Irresistible Dry Cured Smoked Streaky Bacon (£2.79) and Irresistible Dry Cured Unsmoked Streaky Bacon (£2.79).
The pork used to produce the five bacon lines will be supplied from one of 12 farms located across North Aberdeenshire and Angus.
The move comes as part of the Co-op’s wider announcement to switch all its fresh bacon and lamb to 100% British, which will come into effect from 1 May 2017.
Ben Grant, the Co-op’s chilled goods buyer, said: “We know that Scottish customers want to eat Scottish produce so we’re delighted to be able to launch this new range of Ayrshire bacon which consumers can enjoy, knowing it has been made exclusively from Scottish-reared pork. Being able to swap our existing bacon products to 100% Scottish pork provides further evidence of our commitment to supporting the nation’s farmers and gives shoppers another opportunity to buy home-grown products.”
The Scottish SPCA area inspector Fiona McKenzie, who attended today’s launch with pig farmer Patrick Stephen, welcomed the launch of the bacon.
“This is a very positive move which further demonstrates the extremely high standards of welfare on Scottish pig farms,” said Ms McKenzie.
“Consumers purchasing Specially Selected Pork labelled as approved by the Scottish SPCA can be confident the product has been sourced from farms where the health and welfare of pigs is a top priority.”
Meanwhile Mr Stephen, from Conglass Farm, Inverurie, added: “Scottish pig farmers are extremely proud of the Specially Selected Pork we produce which is reared, in Scotland, to standards which are second to none when it comes to animal husbandry and welfare. I look forward to other retailers seizing the opportunity to stock a brand which meets consumers’ requirements for provenance, quality assurance and taste.”