Pig industry urges support from retailers
Leading figures from the British pig industry have banded together to seek support from independent butchers, supermarkets and shoppers to help it survive what it calls “the worst period of low prices for over half a decade”.
Citing the significant contribution British pig farmers make to the rural economy as well as the high animal welfare standards, the heads of AHDB Pork, Assured Food Standards, British Pig Association, National Farmers Union Scotland, National Pig Association, Pig Veterinary Society and Quality Meat Scotland have issued a rallying call via statement:
The letter was signed by:
“Even though this country is only 40 percent self-sufficient in pork, our farmers are losing up to £10on every pig they sell, as a result of European Union over-supply. Without the support of the rest of the food-chain, serious contraction in the national pig herd is inevitable. This will mean even more imports of lower-welfare pork in future.”
It went on to appeal to the various levels of the supply chain on the issue.
“Some players in the British industry have already signalled their intention to scale back or quit. To prevent a much larger exodus before the European Union market starts to rebalance towards the end of this year, we are calling on all players who rely on a thriving domestic pig sector to take the following actions:
Processors: Don’t exploit the current period of over-supply to increase your margins. You’re already in profit, your suppliers aren’t.
Independent butchers: Your customers assume the pork you sell is British. If you must sell cheap imported product, be honest and label it prominently as such.
Foodservice: A majority of diners prefer their meat to be British. Serve British pork and please remember to signal the fact on your table and wall menus.
Retailers: If you already source 100 percent British fresh pork, thank you. If you don’t, make a commitment immediately to source at least another five percent British.
Consumers: Pork is particularly good value at present as pig farmers are being paid at 2007 levels for their pigs. Please always make a point of checking the pork, bacon, ham and sausages you buy are British.
Pig farmers: Keep taking a pride in the excellent job you do to produce healthy, nutritious British pork. Your commitment to improving efficiency and animal welfare deserves recognition by consumers and everyone in the production chain.
“With your help, we can safeguard the future of the higher-welfare British pig industry.”
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