Slow Food North Yorkshire drew attention to the real costs of cheap pork last night with the screening of Pig Business, a feature documentary revealing the shocking details of how methods used by factory farms to produce over a million tons of pig meat for the UK market cause needless animal suffering, threaten human health and the global environment and undermine the livelihoods of small-scale pig farmers.
The screening was followed by a question-and-answer session with filmmaker Tracy Worcester and a discussion about how the lack of labeling laws allows British farmers to be undercut by cheap imports from Europe. “[With] Yorkshire being a main pig breeding centre in the UK, this [is] an important film for our local communities,” said Dave Taylor from City Screen cinema which hosted last night’s showing.
The film charts the rise of factory farming in the USA and the spread of this industrial model into Europe. As Worcester follows the path from giant pig factories in Poland to sausages arriving in British supermarkets, the documentary reveals the conditions for migrant factory workers, the impact on small farmers, and communities affected by air and water pollution from the giant farms.
The film has been widely acclaimed, and is generating concern within the food sector. “I never realized the appalling extent to which pigs – intelligent animals – were treated in certain parts of the world,” said celebrity chef and culinary campaigner Jamie Oliver. “Pig Business is an extremely important documentary; it really hammers home the darker side of the global pig-farming industry.”
The documentary and campaign of the same name encourage consumers to use their buying power to exert political pressure to reform the regulations governing the pork industry, fostering one that is sustainable and profitable. More than 100 British MPs have already signed the campaign’s motion which calls for better enforcement of existing animal welfare regulations, sourcing of high welfare UK pork for institutions, and mandatory ‘method of production’ labeling which describes the animal welfare conditions the pig was raised in.
Last night’s screening is one of Slow Food UK’s events organized during the month of May as part of the 30 Days Of Food program.
Pig Business offers a free DVD to anyone organizing a screening.
For more information on the film and campaign or to order the DVD, visit www.pigbusiness.co.uk
Click here to watch the entire film online.
Source: The York Press
Photo: Filmmaker Tracy Worcester