Positive Report on English Pig Industry

UK - The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee conducted a major inquiry into the English pig industry last September, and its report has now been published.
calendar icon 19 January 2009
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The committee took written and oral evidence from industry bodies, retailers, processors and producers and has now published its report which is extremely positive and highlights the excellence of the English pig industry. However, it does point out the industry faces a number of challenges.

The committee said:

  • English pig producers have higher welfare standards than much of the rest of the EU. However, even in 2013 when the rest of Europe starts to catch up with us there still will not be a level playing field.
  • The industry has suffered over the last year from rocketing feed prices and feed is about 50 per cent of the cost of raising a pig – prices have now started to fall back and some producers are moving into profit.
  • Defra should put its own house in order first by making sure it and other government departments buy pork and pork products at least to UK standards. The industry has been working hard on this and is making progress towards getting more British pork and pork products into government departments.
  • About two-thirds of the pork imported into the UK would be illegal to produce here due to lower welfare standards of imported product.
  • Pig farmers have had to implement huge amounts of environmental legislation, which has been costly. In the UK, the Government has given no help to the industry to achieve these goals whereas in other European countries, governments have been very supportive either through with tax breaks or grants).

Further Reading

- You can view the full Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee's report The English pig industry, First Report of Session 2008–09 (Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence) by clicking here.
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