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Outstanding pig industry issues

by 5m Editor
9 January 2004, at 12:00am

The NPA's Digby Scott looks at 2 major issues to the UK pig industry, Fallen Stock, and Genesis v. Assured British Pigs.

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NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & White-hall, and with pro-cessors, supermarkets & caterers – fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

(1) Fallen stock

Producers were expecting the national carcase collection scheme to be introduced early in the New Year but so far... no action. It is possible the scheme will be operational by mid-February but for this to happen Defra will need to have resolved any outstanding business with the European Commission on state aid issues.

More critically, I understand the board of directors put in place to run the scheme is concerned about whether the sums add up. Unless this is resolved Defra and/or producers will need to agree to pay more into the pot, or the scheme could be stillborn. The company also has to address important biosecurity issues before the scheme can be launched.

(2) Genesis v. Assured British Pigs

The story so far is that Genesis Quality Assurance has served High Court papers seeking circa 3100,000 from Assured British Pigs. Genesis accuses Assured British Pigs of restricting competition for four months last year, causing revenue losses to Genesis, which is a competing supplier of schemes entitled to carry the Little Red Tractor, and the British Meat Quality Standard Mark.

It looks likely a court case will go ahead this year. Unconfirmed reports suggest the two sides have had meetings but little progress has been made towards a settlement.

In September, Pig World quoted BPEX chairman Stewart Houston as saying: "I hope both sides will bear in mind that the only money in the Assured British Pigs kitty is producer money and as we all know there is usually only one winner from litigation, and that’s the legal profession." If and when the case comes to the High Court, I will report the proceedings on this page.

Source: National Pig Association - By Digby Scott - 8th January 2004

5m Editor