NPA accuses DAPP leavers of cost-cutting

The National Pig Association (NPA) has accused pig processors of trying to cut their costs by pulling out of the Dead Weight Average Pig Price (DAPP) scheme, after Karro Food Group announced its decision to walk away from the voluntary agreement.

The NPA said that although pig producers’ confidence had been dented by the news, coming, as it has, on the back of Cranswick’s withdrawal from the initiative earlier in the month, the DAPP would keep going.

“This has undermined the confidence of producers, who are very disappointed at the news, at a time when they are looking to invest in the sector,” said Richard Longthorp, chairman of the NPA. “However, the DAPP will continue in the foreseeable future despite this attempt by processors to flex their muscles and control their costs.”

With Karro leaving, the DAPP sample is now 66,000, almost half the number compared to last year. Cranswick’s departure earlier this month saw a drop in the number of pig samples from around 115,000 to 78,000.

But Bpex, a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), and AHDB Market Intelligence shrugged off the setback, saying their analysis showed that the remaining sample was still representative.

Bpex said it was now putting its contingency plan in place to ensure the DAPP data continued to be as robust as possible. Andrew Knowles, head of supply chain development at Bpex, said: “We have the full support of marketing groups who have said they will supply the Cranswick and Karro data, so we will continue to publish the DAPP.”

There are now seven companies left in the scheme: HG Blake, Cheale Meats, FA Gill, Tulip, Dunbia, Woodhead Bros and Lamberts, with none so far indicating that they, too, want to leave.

Karro declined to comment.

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