Pig Producers Pile on the Pressure

by 5m Editor
2 February 2011, at 9:14am

SCOTLAND, UK - NFU Scotland has met with a leading pig industry official to ensure current efforts to improve the prospects for all pig producers are well co-ordinated.

NFU Scotland’s pigs committee met (Monday, 31 January) with Stewart Houston, who chairs both the British Pig Executive (BPEX) and the National Pig Association (NPA) and who also sits on SAC board as a non-executive director.

Ongoing NFUS and BPEX/NPA campaigns are targeting a significant improvement in pig prices to reflect increased feed costs backed-up by calls for a greater commitment from major retailers to home-produced pork and bacon, consistently produced to the highest welfare standards in Europe. The organisations have agreed to regular updates on how the campaigns are progressing.

Speaking after the meeting, NFUS Pigs Committee Chairman Phil Sleigh said: “Speaking with Stewart, it was reassuring that the pig campaign being developed by NFU Scotland’s pigs committee dovetails perfectly with the high level of activity taking place through BPEX and NPA. All parties have clearly told the other parts of the pig supply chain that we are proud of the way we look after our pigs and that we deserve a price that reflects the true cost of producing pigmeat to such high standards.

“We need retailers to better reflect soaring feed costs in their pricing structures, and at the same time to better support home-produced pigs in this difficult period. To that end, we are calling on the public to help ensure that more of our pork and bacon makes its way onto our supermarket shelves.

“To encourage the public to get involved, Scotland now has its own banner campaign, following the huge uptake of a similar NPA/BPEX promotion in England and Wales. The message reads: “Perfect Scottish Pork and Bacon – Made in Scotland“. Backed by the Specially Selected Pork, Red Tractor and Scottish SPCA logos, the banners send out a call to consumers to keep asking for Scottish pork and bacon and we look forward to these banners appearing in prominent sites on roadsides around Scotland in the coming days.

“Last week’s investigation of shop shelves by NFUS clearly showed that in some supermarkets, support for Scottish pork and bacon could be considerably better than it currently is. Stocking Scottish product in favour of imports not only responds to consumer demand but supports and recognises the higher welfare standards that producers here meet.

“As with NPA/BPEX, we have written to major retailers regarding the need to support home produce, to address cost issues and to better recognise the higher welfare standards delivered here and we look forward to a prompt response.

“Wearing his SAC hat, this was also an opportunity for the committee to discuss with Stewart ongoing SAC work in the pig sector. Given the current pressure on margins, it is reassuring that much of that work will help the long-term efficiency of our industry. We will continue to work with Stewart and SAC to ensure such important work benefits grassroots pig farmers in Scotland.“

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