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Midland Pig Farms on the Brink of Ruin

by 5m Editor
15 July 2008, at 9:43am

UK - Midland pig farmers are on the brink of collapse because of skyrocketing food prices. The region's herd have been cut down to nearly half over the last ten years.


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"What people, the Government and Gordon Brown do not realise is that we are in danger of losing outdoor well cared for animals. All we will be left with is cheap foreign imports."
Gloucester pig producer James Hart

According to the Sunday Mercury, the drastic fall in numbers from 431,000 in 1997 to 235,000 last year has prompted farmers to warn a morning butty full of bacon could soon become a distant memory.

Some say they have not made a profit for five years and warn that soon bacon loving Midlanders will have to rely on cheap, poor quality imports from abroad.

Gloucester pig producer James Hart said: "The current situation is totally unsustainable and disastrous. We have not made money on a pig for five years.

"What people, the Government and Gordon Brown do not realise is that we are in danger of losing outdoor well cared for animals. All we will be left with is cheap foreign imports.

"We are at the end of a period where we have been losing money on every kilo we produce.

"It costs 3145 to produce a kilo and we were getting as little as 3120. It has now risen to around 3130 but we are still losing 310 per kilo."

Mr Hart has also called on supermarkets to do more to help secure the future of British bacon and sausages.

The global increase in commodity prices has also hit farmers hard.

In June last year a tonne of wheat feed cost 3101 but the same amount now costs 3146.

Prices for soya, a major source of animal food have doubled, from 3164 per tonne in June last year to the current price of 3321.

In March hundreds of pig farmers demonstrated outside Downing Street warning the industry was in meltdown.

Not only have they faced soaring food costs UK farmers are bound by stricter animal welfare regulations than their European competitors.

View the Sunday Mercury story by clicking here.

5m Editor