ACMC Slams Cameron's 'Omissions'

by 5m Editor
27 February 2008, at 10:23am

UK - Stephen Curtis (pictured), chairman of Yorkshire-based international pig-breeding company ACMC, has written to David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party, about two serious omissions from his speech delivered at the NFU's centenary meeting.

While Mr Cameron acknowledged the crisis caused by the leak of foot-and-mouth virus from the government-regulated Institute of Animal Health, the subsequent financial losses of many millions of pounds were not mentioned. These losses, caused from the ban on exports of meat and live animals, plus the severe consequential losses following disruption of trade caused by movement restrictions within the UK, have been catastrophic.

Mr Curtis also believes the fact that 50 per cent of the food bought by government institutions is imported and that should also have been highlighted in Mr Cameron's speech.

"The food bought by schools, hospitals, the armed forces and prisons is all paid for by taxpayers' money," Mr Curtis points out.

"Britain is only 30 per cent self-sufficient in pigmeat products. Is this something we should be proud of?."

Stephen Curtis, Chairman of ACMC

He accepted Mr Cameron's suggestion that traceability and labelling should be enforced. Purchasing meat products that do not comply with Britain's high welfare systems means that this country had simply "exported cruelty".

"Commercial pig producers have lost money on pigs produced for the food chain almost every year for the last decade due to added cost of production (namely, high British welfare standards), the strong pound (cheap imports) and disease (FMD 2001 and 2007). This is why the national pig herd has shrunk by 50 per cent," said Mr Curtis. "Britain is only 30 per cent self-sufficient in pigmeat products. Is this something we should be proud of?" he questioned.

Mr Curtis supported most of the points aired by Mr Cameron's, but felt that these important financial points - which had a direct bearing on farming business - should be taken on board by the opposition party.

Further Reading

- For our report on the NFU conference address click here.

5m Editor