10,000 register support for pig farmers

More than 10,000 people have registered their support for Britain's pig farmers by signing an on-line petition at calling for fair prices for farmers.

More than 10,000 people have registered their support for Britain's pig farmers by signing the on-line petition at www.pigsareworthit.com, calling for fair prices for farmers.

With the British Pig Executive (BPEX) calculating pig farmers are losing, on average, as much as £26 for every pig sold, the industry is asking for a modest rise in retail prices for pork products carrying the Quality Standard Mark and for those prices rises to be passed down the chain to the producer.

The 'Pigs Are Worth It' campaign petition of over 10,000 names will be presented to Downing Street on Tuesday 4 March, when pig farmers from across the country will be out in force for a rally in Whitehall to call for fairer prices for the industry's producers.

Organised by the National Pig Association (NPA), the demonstration will take place opposite Downing Street to lobby the country's policy makers and raise awareness of the deepening crisis in the pig industry resulting from soaring feed prices which have driven it to the brink of collapse.

BPEX chairman, Stewart Houston, said: "The fact that we now have over 10,000 signatures on the petition is excellent news. It just goes to show that there is a whole lot of support out there from people who really do care about the plight of Britain's pig farmers.

"Research has already shown that an overwhelming 78% of consumers are prepared to pay more for pork to cover the rising production costs and support pig farmers. But although we are beginning to see increased prices on a range of pork and pork products, very little of that has found its way down the supply chain to the producer."

Awareness of the plight of the industry was helped recently when a group of around 30 farmers pig farmers came together to record a single to raise awareness of their fight for fairer prices for their pigs.

The recording of Stand by your Ham, based on the Tammy Wynette classic Stand by your Man has generated widespread television, radio and newspaper coverage with the story even reaching as far afield as Australia!

Houston said: "Although the recording of the song was a light-hearted way of raising awareness of a very serious issue, it has certainly helped to capture the media's attention and has no doubt led to more people signing the petition."

There's still time to sign the petition by clicking www.pigsareworthit.co.uk/epetition or faxing your support to 01908 671722 remembering to include 'I support the Pigs Are Worth It campaign' in the message box.

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