Pig meat task force launched

A new task force to help secure the future of the pig meat industry has been launched by farming minister Jane Kennedy today.

The Pig Meat Supply Chain Task Force is aimed at boosting confidence and sustatinability in the sector and will bring together key representatives from across the supply chain.

The Task Force will follow the recommendations of the EFRA committee and examine areas of concern which may include labelling, public sector procurement, endemic disease, and better communications throughout the supply chain.

Speaking at the NFU's annual conference in Birmingham, Kennedy said:

"The passion and commitment of Britain's farmers is evident nowhere more than in the pig industry. And while many parts of the industry are highly organised, professional and forward thinking, it does face some serious problems and challenges.

"Everyone involved in the pig meat supply chain has a duty to ensure that there is a fair deal for all and that ultimately includes the consumer.

"Therefore, I am convening a task force for the pig meat supply chain, which will meet for the first time next month.

"The Task Force will be tightly focused on what needs to be done to improve confidence in the long term future of the British pig industry."

Under its draft Terms of Reference, the Task Force will aim to improve the resilience of the pigmeat supply chain through increased collaboration and achieving best practice throughout the chain. It may make recommendations for changes but its primary focus will be on increasing resilience within the current regulatory framework.

Kennedy also launched a vision for anaerobic digestion, the process of breaking down organic material such as food waste and farm manures and slurries to create heat and power and transport fuel.

Ms Kennedy said:"We're producing more organic waste in this country than we can handle, over 12 million tonnes of food waste a year - and farmers know all too well the challenges of managing manure and slurry.

"There are alternatives to sending organic waste to landfill. Anaerobic digestion is a true solution.

"This material could produce enough heat and power to run more than two million homes - helping to prevent dangerous climate change by providing a renewable energy source as well as reducing our reliance on landfill."

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