British pig farmers may become scarce

UK - The traditional British banger could become a luxury food item because of a growing crisis in pig farming, industry leaders have warned.
calendar icon 6 November 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Pig farmers say they face huge increases in the price of feed at a time when the value of their animals has plummeted following the recent foot and mouth outbreak.

They warn that unless supermarkets raise prices and feed the money back to producers, there will be a widespread disappearance of pig farmers.

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, Stephen Curtis, the chief executive of the leading pig breeders ACMC, said: "Unless action is taken quickly, we're likely to see a mass exodus."

The National Pig Association (NPA) estimates that farmers lose £26 for every pig they produce. Mr Curtis said that he recently sent six boars to cull, and received an average price of only £2.99 per boar, or 2p per kilogram. Before foot and mouth they would have been expected to fetch £60 for each animal, he said.

In contrast, a packet of Sainsbury's pork sausages costs 88p for 454g, a price of £1.94 per kilogram. An eight-pack of unsmoked back bacon costs £1.88 or £7.52 per kilogram.

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