Tesco plea to help save pig sector

Supermarket giant Tesco yesterday came under increasing pressure to do more to support struggling pig producers - or risk losing its British pork supply base.

With a new survey showing that four out of every five pig producers would go out of business within a year unless their financial situation improved many other chains – including the Co-op, M&S, ALDI, ASDA, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose – have announced measures which would see British producers paid more through their dedicated supply chains.

But yesterday the National Pig Association appealed directly to Tesco stating that given its scale, Tesco was uniquely positioned to act and pay a fair price for pork in order to prevent the ‘destruction of the UK pig sector’.

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NPA chair Bob Mutimer said that Tesco– which has just announced a trebling of profits to £2bn - had yet to respond to the sector’s call for help.

In a letter to the retailer urging it to step up to the plate, Mutimer said that the sector’s problems had arisen through no fault of the primary producers - and outlined how an ‘unprecedented crisis’ had hit the sector:

“NPA survey data suggests there are still 100,000 pigs stuck on farms that should have gone to slaughter and farmers are losing in excess of £50 per pig due to the enormous gap between their cost of production and the price the supply chain is paying for pork,” said Mutimer, who went on to warn:

“By 2023 British pork will be in such short supply that most retailers will no longer be able to source it.”

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