Central Leeds: Free butties as pig farmers say thanks for mucking in!

TRAY BON!: Pork farmer Stephen Thompson handing out sandwiches in Leeds to students Kerry Crossland, Yve Dales and Corey Nathan.

TRAY BON!: Pork farmer Stephen Thompson handing out sandwiches in Leeds to students Kerry Crossland, Yve Dales and Corey Nathan.

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Pig farmers handed out free sausage sandwiches to the people of Leeds to say thanks for saving their bacon.

The team of local Red Tractor farmers arranged the giveaway as a thank you to loyal customers who have helped them to keep going during tough times that have threatened to put many farms out of business.

The event was part of a national roadshow which has helped raise awareness of the plight of pig farmers, whose production costs have soared as droughts and crop failures around the world drive up the price of feed.

Many face losses of £12 per pig, which could see the price of bacon and other pork products skyrocket in the coming months.

Richard Longthorp, chairman of the National Pig Association: “All the indications are that pork, bacon and sausages, like other foods, will go up in price over the coming months.

“We wanted to say a big thanks to shoppers in Leeds for sticking with us and giving out free bacon and sausages sandwiches seemed like the natural way to do it.

“We really appreciate the support from the public in West Yorkshire, especially as we know a lot of people are feeling the pinch at the moment.

“All we are asking people to do is stick with us.”

The tour of a string of cities around the UK saw people voting locally if they wanted free bacon or sausage sandwiches – with Leeds opting for sausage.

The roadshow was launched by rugby union legend Phil Vickery.

He said: “As a farmer’s son I’ve always been supportive of countryside issues and as a keen cook I’m really passionate about quality ingredients.

“We produce some of the best pork in the world in this country but our pig farmers are struggling due to high costs.

“It’s great to see that the public are prepared to support farmers and that the majority say they are happy to pay a little bit more for pork, bacon and ham.”

A YouGov poll this month showed that, when told about the issues facing farmers, nearly two-thirds of people agreed it was right to pay a bit more for responsibly produced food if costs had increased due to circumstances outside their control.

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