Save Our Bacon, plead GB Farmers

UK - British Pig farmers are in crisis because huge increases in the price of grain means they are losing up to 320 for every animal they produce, says The Guardian.
calendar icon 18 February 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Experts are warning that the industry faces catastrophe unless the price of pork and bacon rises, a move so far rejected by supermarkets. Global wheat prices have doubled in a year to £180 a tonne, owing to soaring demand for grain in India and China.

The decision by an increasing number of farmers to switch from wheat to maize to feed the biofuels revolution is also being blamed. As feed comprises 50 per cent of pig farmers' costs, the rise in the price of wheat is proving disastrous for them - even though bacon is the country's most frequently eaten meat, with the average household getting through 50 bacon sandwiches a year.

'The industry is close to meltdown; it has had its share of difficulties in the past but never anything on this scale and this suddenly,' said Jon Bullock, spokesman for the British Pig Executive. Pig farmers are launching a massive campaign to highlight their plight in the hope that it will persuade the public to buy British pork and bacon. They will also hold a rally near Parliament next month.

On Thursday a 'Save Our Bacon' campaign will be launched at Borough Market in London, backed by celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay, Rick Stein and Fergus Henderson. Jimmy Doherty, who starred in the BBC2 fly-on-the wall documentary Jimmy's Farm, is another supporter.

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