UK producers, representing 10 percent of the UK's weekly pig production, could be forced to quit by Christmas due to poor crop-growing weather around the world making feed too expensive, according to the National Pig Association. British pig farmers have faced a 25 percent increase in the cost of pig feed ingredients, such as wheat and soya, in recent weeks as a result of poor crop-growing conditions, particularly in the U.S.

The association said that around 1.5 million rashers of British bacon per week could disappear from supermarket shelves, while 2.3 million sausages (another high-scoring favorite in the Top 100 Foods Index) per week are also at risk of disappearing. The National Pig Association is calling for UK shoppers to make a special effort to support farmers over the months ahead by buying local products. "If supermarkets see a surge in demand for British products, they may be persuaded to pay our farmers the few extra pennies a kilogram more they need to cover their soaring feed bills,” said association general manager Zoe Davies.

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Davies said that while empty spaces on supermarket shelves could be filled with imported bacon and sausages, they would not be produced to British welfare standards — and, in any case, European pork products might also soon be in shorter supply, as the European Commission expects EU pig production to shrink in 2013.