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Belgian Producers Angry at Vion

by 5m Editor
17 February 2009, at 8:43am

BELGIUM - The national association for pig producers (VeVa) has called on pig producers to stop deliveries to meat processor, Vion, as soon as possible because of low prices.

Farming UK cited the Dutch agricultural newspaper, Agrarisch Dagblad in its report on the situation.

Geert Wallays, chairman of VeVa, said that the call will be sent out Europe-wide. He expects that many producers in Flanders (the northern part of Belgium) will listen to the call.

"We are lucky to have a total of 18 slaughterhouses. Still – it is almost too late for pork producers. They are not able to survive with the prices being this low at the moment," he said.

The main cause for the troubles is attributed to an article that appeared in the Dutch agricultural magazine, Boerderij, last week. It contained a report about Vion's new CEO, Uwe Tillmann, and how the meat giant should become market leader in Germany as well. The article confirmed many producers' impression that Vion is aiming for a monopoly position in order to further cut down pig prices.

Vion does not agree with the Belgian criticism, communication manager, Marc van der Lee, said. "Vion has improved payments over the last couple of years."

Vion is active in many European countries and has recently become Europe's largest pig processor. So far, it is unclear whether Dutch producers will join the Belgian protests, reports Farming UK.