East Anglian Solidarity for UK Pig Trade

UK - The Pig Issue Tour hit East Anglia today with rallies in key country towns Ipswich, Norwich and Cambridge. ThePigSite gave its support and joined the region's pig farmers to spread their message to shoppers to buy British pigmeat and support their crisis stricken industry.
calendar icon 2 April 2008
clock icon 4 minute read

Suffolk pig producers William Black and Simon Guise from Bacton, Mrs Kent and her daughter Wendy Houtson from Swilland, championing the cause for their industry outside Ipswich Town Hall.

Three porkers, supplied from Wendy Houston's unit north of Ipswich caught the public's attention, while producers explained why British pigs were worth every penny.

"We need people to understand the difficulties we are facing and support us," said Simon Guise and William Black of Bacton, Suffolk. They are part of a 3000-plus sow pig breeding and finishing business in Mid Suffolk and like everyone else feeling vulnerable in the wake of low prices and escalating feed costs.

And it seem Ipswich folk understand the plight of the region's industry and are backing their campaign.


"Most of the people I spoke to knew about the dire circumstances faced by the UK's livestock farmers and were already buying only British meat," said Jane Jordan, ThePigSite Editor.

"I was pleasantly surprised by the level of understanding the public here have about pigs and their commitment to pay that bit more. Many of those I talked to bought their meat locally from butchers or farm shops and were willing to pay a bit extra. They want to buy British now and in the future," she added.

Many people who stopped to talk to the farmers also commented on retail price increases and felt that it was just a move by supermarkets to increase their profits, and nothing to do with helping food producers.

Looking for a future in pigs Farmer's sons Robert and Timothy Leggett of Ashbocking. The family finishes 3500 pigs for Suffolk company Easey's.

"I'm glad to see you're here. People need to know how poorly farmers are paid for their pigs. They don't profit from supermarkets," said one supporter. "I used to be in farming, but was forced to give up because of unfair prices demanded by supermarket. The industry needs support, but retailers are very reluctant to dip into their pockets to help. It's wrong," he added.

Hitting Home

It appears that the BPEX/NPA message is reaching consumers - in Suffolk at least. Many here understand that British pigmeat was quality assured and produced to higher welfare standards that most imported product.

However, Suffolk is a major agricultural county with a high number of the population involved in or connected in some way to farming. This may explain why the townsfolk here appear more discerning when it comes to buying meat. The view from the inner cities was not so positive.

In Newcastle-upon-Tyne many people said they had never seen a live pig let alone thought about how it was kept or where it came from. Perhaps they might in the future...

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