Off their trolleys

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The supermarket chain Asda has threatened to stop selling Belgian pâté in its stores if the European Commission extends its ban on the importation of live pigs from England to the Continent to include all pork meat exports. As threats go, this is a very peculiar one. Is it the fault of Belgian farmers that the headquarters of the EU is in Brussels?

The supermarket chain Asda has threatened to stop selling Belgian pâté in its stores if the European Commission extends its ban on the importation of live pigs from England to the Continent to include all pork meat exports. As threats go, this is a very peculiar one. Is it the fault of Belgian farmers that the headquarters of the EU is in Brussels?

On the other hand, at least Asda can argue that it is compensating British pig producers by sourcing its pork products in Britain. Back in October 1999, when the French refused to end the ban on British beef, Asda announced that its French bread would now be baked on this side of the Channel - although French flour would still be used to make the dough. How this would help our beef farmers was unclear.

What is clear is the desire to attract publicity by exploiting an agricultural crisis. Other countries have a right to protect their pig farms from swine fever This sort of market meddling leads to absurdity: if Asda's customers prefer Belgian to British pâté, they should be allowed to buy it.

Comments