Pig farmers descend on Westminster

PIG farmers have descended on Westminster this morning (Thursday, March 3) demanding a fair price for British pork, warning the industry will face a mass exodus should its fortunes not improve.

With rising cereal prices and increased fuel costs, farmers are losing money on every pig they produce.

Unless urgent action is taken to secure a better price from retailers, many could simply quit the industry as their bottom line continues to take a hit, the industry warned.

At a breakfast at the House of Commons this morning Bpex and the National Pig Association (NPA) called on Government, retailers and the public to increase support for British pork.

It comes as the NPA took its ‘Sign our Sausage’ campaign to Westminster calling on MPs and members of the public to back their calls for fair prices.

Stewart Houston, chairman of the NPA said the key was to encourage consumers to demand British from retailers such as Tesco and Asda.

He said: “We would like consumers to help us by buying more British pigmeat. We are not asking for Government support – we are calling for a fair price from national retailers.”

MP Richard Bacon told gathered MPs the Government had made progress by getting retailers to sign up to a voluntary labelling initiative, but said concrete legislation was needed to ensure a better future for producers.

In particular he highlighted Morrison’s commitment to the supply chain, and urged Tesco and Asda to follow suit in selling British produce rather than relying on cheap imports, produced under far less stringent animal welfare conditions.

“We should be saying to the public, if you want to buy sausages, don’t buy them from Tesco, buy them from Morrisons.

“If the public knew Asda and Tesco were putting products on their shelves produced in sub-standard conditions they would not buy from them.”

Defra Secretary Caroline Spelman agreed, saying consumers would be ‘horrified’ by the conditions on some European pig farms exporting to the UK.

She said it was vital retailers recognised the increased costs of production in the UK and supported the industry in producing high welfare, safe food.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Not a mention on the news anywhere. Just goes to show no one outside farming cares a hoot about animal welfare and the plight of Brithish farmers. No wonder Asda and Morrisons avade detection by the Britsh public and good old Labour are more interested in dodgy expence claims once again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • I cant believe what little press coverage this got considering the effort which many farmers made and the magnitude of importance , I watched the news and it was wind turbines and the Barnsley MP. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PR ???

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  • I do not know who has written this article but I suggest that they proof read it first - there is one huge mistake in the third to last paragraph - it reads currently - 'If the public knew Asda and Morrisons .....' surely it should read 'If the public knew Asda and Tesco.....' - please get your facts right as we have enough problems in the pig industry without inaccurate editorial.

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