Pig farmers: follow the Irish example

There has been much talk about farmers feeling the squeeze, following the hike in feed prices, and that retailers need to pass these

increases on to consumers.

But while meat prices have risen, little or nothing is being passed back down to the farmer. Everybody in the supply chain seems to be pointing the finger and blaming someone else for the current crisis that UK farmers find themselves facing.

Recent figures show that

increasing numbers of sows are being culled. Some pig farmers have had enough and are either getting out of pig production or cutting back on the numbers they produce and I cannot say that I blame them.

It is predicted that, by the end of the year, there will be less domestic pork to serve the domestic market. Is that what the UK wants? British bacon used to make up 40% of the market and, in the past decade, that has shrunk to a market share of just 10-15%.

If this trend continues because the whole supply chain is unable to agree to sustainable increases for the British farmer, we may find it hard to get British bacon or pork in the future

If I were a pig farmer, I would cease production and follow the example of the Irish, who are complaining about the poor margins between suckler and dairy beef and find a more viable use for my land and labour.

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