Minister Recognises Plight of Pig Industry

UK - The plight of British pig producers received government acknowledgement today (Wednesday) during an award ceremony to honour one of the stalwarts of the industry.
calendar icon 29 October 2008
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Food and Farming Minister Jane Kennedy.

Minister at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Jane Kennedy, in presenting the David Black Award to Ian Campbell, said that she recognised the concerns that pig producers had over the cost of feed and energy.

And she added that she realised that at present pig producers were losing money in selling their pigs at below the cost of production.

The minister, who was appointed to the farming role three weeks ago during a ministerial reshuffle, told industry leaders at the ceremony in the House of Lords, that while it was still early for her in the post, she was learning about the problems being faced by pig farmers.

She said that she had heard the concerns of the industry over the problems of the cost of production and the prices paid for pigs and also the industry concerns over the removal of the agricultural building allowances.

"I understand pig farmers feel they are getting a bad deal," she said.

However, she also praised those working in the industry for their dedication and forward thinking.

"Its welfare standards are some of the finest in the world," she said.

Ms Kennedy called for more research and development with in the industry and also more skills training to make it more attractive.

The chairman of the British Pig Executive Stewart Houston hit out at the losses producers in the UK were making at present.

He decried the fact that while the producers were being hit hard, retailers were maintaining their margins.

He was concerned that an eight to nine per cent reduction in the EU pig herd had not had the desired effect for producers in prices.

And Mr Houston called for a dedicated supply chain for the industry.

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