LAST week, one of the Scotland’s largest pig farmers indicated his intention to give up production unless the financial barometer turned to a more favourable point.
And yesterday, pig industry leaders from across the European Union met in London to highlight the loss of pig numbers across the world because of the recent surge in feed prices.
Andrew Peddie, of Cornceres, Anstruther,a former convenor of NFU Scotland’s pig committee and a current board member of Quality Meat Scotland, said that, after three loss-making years on his pig enterprise, he was within months of giving up.
Speaking yesterday, National Pig Association chairman Richard Longthorp, who farms outdoor pigs in Yorkshire, said: “Some pig farmers have got only a few weeks left before they run out of credit at the bank and have to sell up, and this is happening all over Europe.”
He added that, around the world, the story was similar, with pig farmers selling their herds because they could no longer afford to feed their pigs. The US government had introduced a pork-buying programme in a bid to keep its pig farmers in business. And in another move that might presage the future, the Chinese government was buying up pork and putting it into cold storage, as a buffer against shortages and high prices next year.
Back at home, Longthorp said it usually took at least six months for higher production costs to filter through to shop prices but pig farmers could not survive that time lag this time around.
He urged British shoppers to make a special effort to safeguard supplies of British bacon and pork by only buying packs carrying a logo indicating the pigmeat came from Britain.
“Pork has always been the affordable meat,” he said. “It’s only half the price of beef and lamb. We urgently need the retail price to go up by a modest amount to keep pig farmers in business, but we want it to remain the most affordable red meat.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North