UFU's Response to Pig Plant Closure

by 5m Editor
13 October 2008, at 1:27pm

UK - Last week, pork processor Stevenson and Co. in County Antrim said it will probably have to close because of the rising cost of energy and pigs.

In a statement, it said its trading costs had risen by £4,500 a week in the last 12 months, but has laid emphasis on the fact that creditors would be paid in full. "We very much regret this decision as it affects both our pig suppliers, customers and employees who have been loyal over the years," it said.

The firm manufactures pork products for the wholesale, retail, and catering sectors, according to the NPA (National Pig Association).

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has given its reaction to this proposed closure.

UFU President Graham Furey said; “It is with great concern that we learn of the proposed closure of the Stevensons pig processing plant. The closure of processing plants inevitably leads to less competition for local farm produce and that will be a concern for pig farmers. There will also be job losses which is very regrettable”.

“This closure is a symptom of the wider problems in the food chain. Costs of producing food are rising dramatically but retailers are responding to consumer concerns about the cost of living by discounting the price of many food products, including pork and bacon. This means there is simply not enough revenue being generated to cover the costs incurred by farmers or in this case processors. Unfortunately unless we achieve a more functional UK food chain, then there will be more closures both at farm and processor level, leaving consumers with less local choice. The UFU will now concentrate on ensuring pig producers continue to have outlets for their pigs at sustainable prices".

5m Editor