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Top Rank Campaign, But Fair Trade Vital for Survival

by 5m Editor
8 April 2008, at 9:27am

UK - More than 17,000 poeple have pledged thier support for the 'Pigs Are Worth It' campaign - a figure that ranks it one of the best all time supported Downing Street petitions. But Fair Trade remains THE issue for the nations pig sector.

According to Meat Info, when compared to all the petitions featured on the 10 Downing Street website, the 'Pigs Are Worth It' campaign petition sits either first or second in 15 of the 16 topic categories, which include International Affairs & Defence, Business & Industry and Transport & Infrastructure, in terms of the greatest number of signatories.

BPEX chairman Stewart Houston is delighted with the response. He said the support received demonstrates massive interest in the plight of pig farmers in the UK. "It has struck a chord with consumers, who have recognised the urgent need for fairer prices down the supply chain."

The campaign has gained widespread media coverage and been supported by a Pig Issue Tour across Britain and various public events.

Fair Trade to the House

And the plight of the industry will be taken to Westminster one again when Yorkshire sausage makers Debbie and Andrew Keeble meet MPs from all political parties to explain their ground breaking attempt to save the British pig industry.

The couple, who were once pig farmers and now make and market Debbie & Andrew’s brand, have been invited to Westminster to discuss their Fair Trade for British Pig Farmers. They launched their own fair price scheme in January as a direct response to the industry crisis. They pays 15 per cent more for thier pork and pass the difference directly to thier farmers and processors.


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"If other producers and retailers aren’t prepared to stick out their necks, the crisis will deepen, no one will care until all of our farmers have quit and pork prices will go through the roof"
Andrew Keeble, sausage maker and ex-pig farmer

The couple are continueing to lobby MPs to encourage the bigger supermarkets and other producers to back their efforts and introduce similar initiatives.

Huge increases in animal feed costs have resulted in British pig farmers losing an average of £26 on every pig they sell.

Andrew Keeble said that they have been lucky, but lots of pig farmers are struggling at the moment. "We took on board the issues and decided to launch our own fair price scheme. If other producers and retailers aren’t prepared to stick out their necks, the crisis will deepen, no one will care until all of our farmers have quit and pork prices will go through the roof. Then everyone will be left wondering how this was allowed to happen,” he added.

Keeble said his scheme had been well received and customers were voting with their wallets. Sales are up 20 per cent since its introduction, in spite of a retail price increase of 30p a pack.

The National Pig Association has calculated that between just seven and 17p on the price of packs of sausages, pork and bacon would guarantee the future of the British pig industry.



View the Meat Info story by clicking here.

Further Reading

- To read our 'Pig Issue' Tour report click here.

5m Editor