Upbeat View of Pig Industry

UK - Supermarkets are not necessarily the ogres they are always painted says this year’s David Black Award winner Philip Richardson.
calendar icon 3 November 2006
clock icon 3 minute read
British Pig Executive

Philip, who has a 340 sow unit near Wymondham in Norfolk, believes they bring good as well as bad and he is in a position to know as he not only produces for Budgens but is also the face on the pack on the shelves.

Philip said: “I am not going to blame the supermarkets for everything. I think they do take a bit more margin than they should – it’s a two-edged sword because they also make the industry think carefully about the market and the quality of the product. After receiving his award at an industry breakfast held in the House of Lords on 1 November, he said: “The fundamental issues facing the British pig industry are concern for the environment and more particularly climate change.

These are issues which will probably affect our children and there is no sense denying them. We must address them. We must develop close relations with Defra and its agencies – particularly the Environment Agency. I know some of the people on the ground are very reasonable and practical but I’m not yet convinced all those at Head Office consider the practicality and viability of farms as very important“.

Philip’s overall assessment of the British pig industry prospects was upbeat. He said: “The industry has a hard road ahead and some difficult challenges to face but we are now starting to exploit added value and local sourcing and I believe it has a positive future.“

Speaking at the event of the turmoil suffered by the pig industry, Food and Farming Minister Lord Rooker said: “The industry has really turned itself round over the last few years and that has been down to good leadership.“ He also said he was looking at the effects of Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, particularly at the possibility of easing some of the burden on the industry. He said parts of IPPC were covered by other areas of regulation and even assurance and he didn’t see why people should have to pay twice. He said the time-scale was short but it was not too late to address it.

At the event, a Sausage Oscar, for somebody who is dedicated to sausages, was presented to John Langford of the Welsh Sausage Company. The award is part of British Sausage Week, which runs until 5 November.

The firm, which manufactures chilled and frozen sausages, was given the award for responding to the challenge of providing a healthier diet for youngsters by developing a sausage which was reduced salt and reduced fat which has proved a great success.

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