Warnings of worldwide pork shortage

Poor weather could cause a worldwide shortage of pork and bacon next year, the National Pig Association (NPA) has warned.

The group, which met with industry leaders from across the European Union last week, said that pig farmers were being forced to sell their herds because “disastrous growing and harvesting weather” had made pig feed “unaffordable”, with supermarket prices not rising fast enough to cover the increased costs of production.

NPA chairman Richard Longthorp, said: “It usually takes at least six months for higher production costs to filter through  to shop prices — but pig farmers simply haven’t got that long. Some have got only a few weeks left before they run out of credit at the bank and have to sell up, and this is happening all over Europe.”

Longthorp warned that pig farmers urgently needed retail prices to go up by a modest amount, but insisted that the industry wanted pork to remain the most affordable red meat.

“Some forecasters believe the price will increase by over a third eventually. But we would rather see a more immediate, modest, but sustainable rise that would allow producers to get into profit sooner, thereby preventing the wholesale reduction in the pig herd, with the inevitable record prices that would follow,” he said.


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