EU: Primary producers only marginally influence pork retail prices

06-04-2011 | |

Only a minor part of the increases in retail pork prices is related to increased production costs in the pig industry.

 This was shown during a presentation of the European Union’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, during an expert meeting on pork. Dutch agricultural newspaper Agrarisch Dagblad and the Flemish Information Centre for Livestock and Horticulture (VILT) report that the presentation confirmed the idea that has been present about price constructions in the pig industry.
Retail prices
How exactly the pork chain works – and how retail prices come into existence, were just only some of the topics under discussion. One of its conclusions was that cost price increases in the pork production phase itself is only very marginally responsible for retail price increases, to be paid by consumers. It seems that the processing industries better understand techniques like how to transfer increased cost prices into higher retail prices.
In the coming month, conclusions have to be drawn and recommendations have to be made regarding a policy. Although an imminent change is not expected, on May 6, European expert talks in the pig sector will be concluded.
Frans van Dongen, spokesman for the Netherlands, was quoted saying, “Problems will all be mentioned once more; admission of animal-derived bone meal; a more flexible stand towards GMO raw materials; consequences of of admitting cheap pork from Mercosur countries; the pork chain’s functioning… Most important of all is that European politicians will become more aware of the consequences of the policy for certain issues in the pig industry.”
In other European countries, like Belgium and the UK, a similar phenomenon was noted, that primary pork producers do influence retail prices.
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