A TRIO of top chefs have warned that many traditional dishes made using British pork could soon disappear from menus due to a financial crisis gripping the market.
Gordon Ramsay, Rick Stein and Tom Aikens have said that favourites such as bangers and mash and toad in the hole could become a thing of the past if the current consumer trend to buy cheaper European pork products from supermarkets continues.
A national petition is to be launched to support British pig farmers, who are facing financial meltdown as a result of rising feed prices and competition from countries such as Denmark and Holland, where animal welfare standards are lower than they are in the UK.
The Save Our Bacon campaign - launched by Waitrose Food Illustrated magazine - urges other retailers as well as consumers to get behind the scheme.
Restaurateurs Sir Terence Conran and Fergus Henderson have also pledged their support to the initiative.
Waitrose is using a sausage-free toad in the hole - called toad on the dole - to highlight the average loss of £26 which pig farmers incur on every animal they sell.
The campaign claims that, should this trend continue, everyday favourites such as bangers and mash or bacon butties could end up becoming an occasional luxury.
Without a rise in the price they get for their pigs, many farmers will be forced to stop production, it warns. A survey by the National Pig Association showed that 95 per cent of farmers are considering stopping production if prices do not improve. This would lead to a shortage of pig meat in the long term.