New report highlights shrinking pig herds

A new report, called Bringing Home the Bacon, has highlighted the issue of the UK’s shrinking domestic pig herds and has made hard-hitting recommendations to increase interest in the British pig farming industry.

Carried out by the CRESC research centre at the University of Manchester, the report is a study of pork production and consumption in the UK and looks at the increase in reliance of imports from Europe due to the lack of products from the home market.

Dr Andrew Bowman, one of the researchers on the project, said: “It is part of ongoing research looking into economic renewal.

“We are looking at producing stats into industrial activity in the UK that can be reformed. A lot of industrial policy looks at high technology, such as exporting nano-technology, rather than the everyday consumer market and everyday policy.”

A focus on redressing the UK economy through a focus on ‘mundane’ and ‘everyday’ activities, such as pig meat supply, is crucial in defending food production for security and food processing because it is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector by employment.    

Also, the crisis in pig meat production is echoed in other supply chains within British manufacturing, which have been damaged by opportunist dealing and, in turn, have created an inefficient and dysfunctional supply chain.

A fix, suggested by the report, is that the government needs to play a crucial role in brokering change by implementing new policies like added value and promotion, such as tax incentives, to increase output.

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