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Need to Promote British Pork

by 5m Editor
15 December 2008, at 8:45am

UK - With the pig industry increasingly dominated by imports, there is an urgent need to promote and brand British pork, which is both produced and processed in Britain, auctioneer and valuer, Peter Crichton, told an ACMC-sponsored meeting of the Suffolk Pig Discussion Group.

Mr Crichton predicted the United Kingdom total breeding herd, currently standing at 423,000 head, would dip below 400,000 sows next year. This would provide opportunities. Weaner prices were already firming and because of the shortfall in meat supplies, prices for finishers could reach 150p per kilo by July. Feed prices had dropped but wheat futures showed prices rising from £95 per tonne in January to £111 in November. He warned that in a market so influenced by imports, pig prices were still ruled by the euro and its value relative to the pound sterling.

Pigmeat sales at retail level had dropped due to the credit crisis with bacon down 5 per cent and fresh/frozen pork down 6 per cent. Chops were down a massive 16 per cent.

He pointed out that the Danish pig industry was in crisis — with producers losing up to £20 a pig — following the loss of Russian trade and their pigs would have to find a market in Europe, which could have knock-on effects in Britain. There were now fewer abattoirs — and therefore fewer pig buyers — and around 50 per cent of this sector of the industry was now in the hands of just two major importers.