Pig sector needs urgent action

The outcome of last week’s crisis summit on the pig sector was welcomed as ‘setting the foundations for recovery’, but urgency is still required to save the sector, the National Pig Association (NPA) has claimed.

The industry summit, hosted by UK farming minister Victoria Prentis in London agreed a coherent plan to ease the pig backlog.

But the NPA said that the commitments made by those that took part now needed to be acted on and implemented with real urgency to provide desperate pig farmers with some hope for a viable future.

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While he welcomed the concord, NPA chairman, Rob Mutimer said: “There was, however, no silver bullet – there was never going to be,” adding, “the truth is we need more from the supply chain in terms of a workable plan.”

He said the challenge was to build on what had been agreed, with each part of the supply chain pulling its weight - adding that making full use of capacity available in individual plants was the basis for a coherent plan to get more pigs off farms.

He said that the NPA wanted processors set out a detailed plan that was regularly updated, including how many pigs they planned to slaughter per week, how many they actually slaughtered, and the progress in reducing their backlog:

“After six months of this, the least producers can expect is some clarity on the future so they can plan properly – finding out on a Friday night how many pigs are going the next week is simply not good enough.” Mutimer concluded.

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