BECAUSE British pig farmers work to the highest welfare and food safety standards in the world, they have higher costs and these costs keep rising, particularly now the price of grain has reached an all-time high.

As pig farmers are facing stiff competition from their continental counterparts, who don't have such high overheads, it's getting to the point where, if we don't use them, we will lose them.

The main thrust of my recipes usually calls for local ingredients.

Today, I am saying please buy local pork, if you can. If you find yourself in a supermarket where this is not possible, then at least go for British pork. The few extra pence this might cost is a small price to pay if it means keeping British pig farmers in business.

Spare ribs baked just as they are, without resorting to fancy marinades or coatings, are a fine example of just how good British pork can taste when cooked on the bone.

You will need: At least four spare ribs per person Flour to scatter on ribs before baking Salt and freshly-ground black peppercorn to season For the dipping sauce, you will need: One small onion - chopped very fine 2 cloves garlic - chopped very fine One tspn fennel seeds - crushed One small red chilli - deseeded and chopped very fine 2oz (50g) soft dark brown sugar Olive oil 2 tspns dark soy sauce 2 drops Tabasco sauce (optional) 10 fl oz (300ml) tomato ketchup Salt and freshly-ground black peppercorn to season Method: Roll the spare ribs in seasoned flour, place in roasting tin and bake in a moderate oven (200C/400F or gas mark 6) for about 25 minutes Turn the ribs at this point to allow even browning and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, or until a crispy golden brown Make the dipping sauce by frying the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until soft, but not brown Add the chilli, fennel seeds and sugar, stir well and cook for a moment or two Add the soy sauce, ketchup and Tabasco sauce (if using) and simmer for a few moments Taste, adjust seasoning and serve as a dip This is an ideal supper dish to eat with your fingers while sitting round the fire on a chilly winter's evening.