Market factors boost pig industry

The recent fall in price of UK pork and the legacy of horsegate are giving the pig industry a boost, according to the National Pig Association (NPA).

With pork dropping 20p/kg since summer, the situation is unwelcome to UK producers. However, the NPA said the decreases were “helping retailers and foodservice to delight customers with lower prices for British pork and pork products”.

Furthermore, the organisation commended retailers’ commitment to British pork, “particularly in the face of intense provocation from mainland Europe, where Russia’s meat embargo is causing serious market difficulties”.

NPA chairman Richard Longthorp said: “Pork is not only the most versatile of meats, it remains outstanding value — which is particularly important while consumers remain price-conscious in what, for many, are still challenging times. With a 20p/kg drop in pig prices since June, the value of British pork is now even greater, especially as customers are getting a locally-produced high-quality product.”

With the second anniversary of the horsemeat crisis passing, Longthorp added: “Retailers are sticking to the promises they made after horsegate to source more British pork, because it is a quality, farm-assured product, with a short, transparent supply chain.”

The NPA reserved special praise for the “hundred-percenters” which were identified in the industry’s Porkwatch survey – Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Budgens, The Co-operative, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Longthorp said: “To return to the pre-horsegate days of sourcing meat solely on price, and regardless of origin, would be the worst kind of short-termism.

“The huge surge in the popularity of British pork we have seen since horsegate has led to a period of recovery in the British pig industry, with investment in staff training and apprenticeships, new facilities, new technology and new accommodation — and everybody has benefited.”

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