Asda will withdraw Belgian paté from its shelves if the European Union’s decision to ban the export of live pigs is extended to a ban on British pork.
The supermarket chain made its veiled threat after the EU banned live exports earlier this week to prevent an outbreak of swine fever in mainland Europe.
The fatal virus is currently afflicting a number of pig stocks in the UK.
A spokesman for Asda says: “Pig farmers are in dire straits at the moment. Our experience of the EU is that a four-month ban can easily turn into four years.”
Other leading supermarket chains were quick to follow suit in their show of solidarity for British farmers, but stopped short of threatening a boycott.
A statement issued by Safeway stated: “We have always supported British pig farmers. We believe the most effective way to show support is to increase sales of British pork.”
A spokeswoman at Tesco says that if customers stop buying Belgian paté it would consider withdrawing it.
But a spokesman for the Meat & Livestock Commission says he is not expecting a ban. He says: “We anticipated the EU’s actions. There really isn’t an issue to address.”