Aid Package for Scottish Pig Producers Planned

by 5m Editor
4 August 2008, at 12:28pm

SCOTLAND - An aid package to help Scotland's pig producers is to be announced later this month.

First Minister Alex Salmond delivered the pledge yesterday after a meeting with NFU Scotland representatives at Turriff Show.

The aid – which finally recognises the huge impact of last August's foot-and-mouth outbreak on the Scottish pig sector – had been expected to be announced last month. But Mr Salmond said it was delayed to allow for discussions with Vion, the Dutch meat processing giant that last week received clearance from the European Commission for its £380million acquisition of Scotland's biggest pig processor, Grampian Country Food Group.

The Press and Journal reports that Mr Salmond said: “They (Vion) have obviously a huge role to play in the sector, and in the future of Scottish agriculture. There will be an announcement by the end of this month certainly."

Mr Salmond would not discuss specifics of the package the Scottish Government is likely to deliver. But it will almost certainly be based on the recommendations of an industry taskforce set up in May after Rural Affairs Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead came in for criticism for ignoring pig producers, whose financial woes after foot-and-mouth were exacerbated by a collapse in global pig prices and escalating feed costs. The double whammy led to losses of up to £25 on every finished pig sold for more than eight months.

Assistance for those who want to stay in the industry through funding vaccines to deal with pig diseases.

5m Editor