According to a survey carried out by the NPA, farmers representing 10% of Britain’s weekly pig production could be affected by the poor crop growing weather around the world, which has made pig feed expensive.
The NPA said that around 1.5m rashers of British bacon could disappear from supermarket shelves each week, as well as 2.3m sausages. The number of sausage rolls and pork pies produced could also be affected.
General manager at NPA Zoe Davies has urged UK shoppers to make a “special effort” to support pig farmers over the next couple of months and said: “If supermarkets see a surge in demand for British products, they may be persuaded to pay our farmers the few extra pennies a kilo more they need to cover their soaring feed bills. So we are asking shoppers, who have always been incredibly loyal in the past, to please be extra careful to look for the British Red Tractor logo on bacon, sausages and pork.”
A temptation to fill extra spaces on supermarket shelves could be tempting, the NPA acknowledged, but said they would not be produced to British welfare standards. Also, the NPA added, European pork products will also be in short supply soon, as the European Commission expects European pig production to shrink next year.
An increase of around 25% in the cost of pig feed has been faced by the British pig farmer in recent weeks and at the same time, said the NPA, intense high street rivalry is making supermarkets reluctant to pay farmers more to cover extra production costs.
The NPA also said that, over the next few weeks, British pig farmers need to “persuade the pork supply chain to work together towards a producer price that reflects the recent rises in feed prices”.