Pork vendors criticise supermarket 'sales tricks'
A group of wet-market vendors have filed a complaint against supermarkets, accusing them of using deceptive tactics to sell pork, such as passing off cheap meat as superior cuts.
The Alliance of Hong Kong Pork Retailers, which joined hands with union lawmaker Wong Kwok-hing in filing the complaint with the Consumer Council yesterday, also says supermarket signs mislead consumers into thinking the meat comes from pigs reared locally, when they are in fact imported from the mainland.
'They try to disguise ribs near the stomach as superior pork loin,' alliance convenor Hui Wai-kin said. 'Pork loin can cost HK$50 a catty [600 grams], while normal ribs can cost HK$32 a catty.'
Loin cuts are from below the pig's back and each slice comes with a bone. Their texture is also different from ribs, Hui says.
He said supermarkets also mixed cheaper hind-leg meat with more expensive shoulder meat. Consumers not adept at differentiating between various pork cuts could be misled into paying more than what the meat was worth, Hui said.
Samples of various pork cuts were handed to the council for inspection.
Hui also claimed some supermarkets posted 'confusing' signs about the origin of their meat, citing a ParknShop sign that read 'locally slaughtered pork' even if the meat sold under it were mainland imports.
However, a ParknShop spokeswoman said their signs were clear: mainland pork and local pork were sold as 'locally slaughtered pork' and 'locally farmed pork', respectively. She also said it sold properly labelled fresh pork at the lowest prices.
Last month, the alliance accused ParknShop of attempting to edge out competition by pricing their meat 30 per cent lower than normal since November last year.
But ParknShop argued that its market share - slightly more than 10 per cent - was far smaller than wet markets, which sold about 70 per cent of the city's pork.
Wellcome, meanwhile, said all its pork came from legal sources and details on each product could be found on the packaging.
The number of live pigs imported by Hong Kong last year, most of them from the mainland, compared to 88,000 produced locally