The administration said that producers affected by the temporary closure of the abattoir at Brechin last year, and the subsequent suspension of its China export licence, would receive more financial support when the hardship scheme was extended for a second and final time.
The Pig Producers Hardship Support Scheme launched in August 2021, and provided eligible pig producers with essential funding of £715,000. It was targeted at those who had supplied the Quality Pig Processors (QPP) plant at Brechin over a fixed period. It was extended in January 2022 by a further £680,000, and together with the latest £410,000, brings the scheme total to just over £1.8 million.
The additional funds will compensate farmers directly for the £7.50 reduction in price they were paid per pig by QPP Brechin between 1 October and 31 December 2021. It also includes half of the price deductions per pig from QPP Brechin for April 2021, which were not previously covered by the scheme.
Acknowledging that the last year had been particularly challenging for the sector, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said the move would provide cash flow security by extending the scheme to cover deductions previously not covered: “We know that this funding has been a lifeline for producers. The scheme will open in the next few weeks and again I would encourage all eligible producers to submit their applications and benefit from this additional financial support.”