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FILM: Pig Business: The Cost of Cheap Food

 


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30 mins, 2009       

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In this shocking and provocative film, Tracy Worcester sets out to discover who's paying the true price for the cheap pork for sale in Britain's supermarkets.

WHERE IT ALL STARTED: Industrialised pig farming was pioneered in America, and it's the way most supermarket pork is produced. Critics here argue the factory farms are bad for the animals, their employees, the environment and residents' health.

THREAT TO SMALL FARMS: During the 1990s large-scale meat processors bought up livestock farms enabling corporations to control the whole process from farming to packaging. Many small farmers have gone bust.

IMPACT ON POLAND: US companies like the giant multinational Smithfield Foods are targeting other countries, too - in particular Poland. Polish people complain of the impact of the factory farms on their health, their environment and the threat to their family farms.

THE EUROPEAN ANGLE: The transformation of Polish agriculture and life is being partly financed by the taxpayers of Europe. Smithfield is just one of the food multinationals who have received the backing of the public purse.

A FUTURE OF CHEAP MEAT? Smithfield Foods claim they're just giving customers what they want and that they're doing all they can to minimise damage to the environment. But US critics accuse them of diminishing their quality of life.

IN BRITAIN: British farmers too feel threatened by the rise of the factory farms. There are worries over the use of antibiotics and the spread of MRSA. Is consumer power - people buying locally produced pork - the answer?

DVD EXTRAS include items on the meat industry's threat to the Amazon rainforest, the impact on Poland and the involvement of the European Union.