British pig farmers march on Westminster

07-03-2008 | |

From across the UK they came – to highlight the crisis threatening the pig industry.

A rally was organised on Tuesday (4 March) by the National Pig Association, involving about 400 producers and the main farming organisations representing farmers across the country.

Producers are apparently losing an average £26 (€32) per pig as a result of spiralling feed costs and the major retailers’ failure to pass back to producers the increase in retail price.

Chairman of the National Pig Association, Stewart Houston, used the occasion to present a petition of 14,000 names to Number 10 Downing Street while MPs who attended the protest were urged to write to the supermarket bosses expressing concern about the future of the industry.

Houston commented that the government needed to investigate the supply chain to ensure that it worked to ensure fairness for all throughout the chain.

“It seems incongruous to me that we have to produce pigs below the cost of production.  The retailers are all aware of the situation, but each one finds it difficult to put its prices up individually because of the competition difficulties it presents for them.  What they need to unite behind a rise in pig prices very, very quickly.”

A video podcast of the rally featuring interviews with producers and leading figures from the industry will be produced by Farmers Weekly.  The podcast will be available today on their site.

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