UK: Farming minister pledges help to pig farmers
The UK's new Farming Minister Jane Kennedy has pledged
to help pig farmers tackle the threat of high input costs and their 'sense of
powerlessness' when dealing with big retailers.
The Farmers Guardian reports that Kennedy's recent visit to a pig farm in
Yorkshire had helped her understand key issues facing the industry and her
overarching aim was now for a thriving industry across the
“The farmer I visited was very
clear that despite the fact that he had some of the best animal welfare
provisions in place, the supermarkets were not meeting him even halfway to meet
his added costs.It appeared to me that there was a disconnection between the
policy statement from big retailers and what actually happened when their buyers
are at work,” she said.
Kennedy said it was not Defra's role to dictate
the relationship between producer and retailer and expressed her desire to
listen to industry thoughts on how to mitigate the adverse impact of the UK's
'better' regulation. She argued that clearer and more effective labelling would
allow consumers to support farmers that employed better animal welfare
“My experience as a consumer is that there is not sufficient information on
the labelling of pig products to be able to judge their welfare standards,” she
said. Defra will now prioritise gathering evidence in order to make a judgement
on how to improve labelling.Click here for the free Pig Progress
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