A UK-wide review of the pig farming industry supply chain has been launched by farm ministers.
A consultation, launched today by the UK Government in partnership with the devolved administrations, will seek views on issues such as transparency, price reporting, clarity of contractual terms and conditions, and market consolidation.
Pig farmers, abattoirs, processors, retailers, marketing groups and anyone else involved in the pig supply chain is invited to participate in the consultation, which runs until October 7.
It aims to increase fairness and transparency in the industry and comes following months of problems in the sector – these have included a backlog of thousands of slaughter-ready pigs waiting to go to abattoirs as well as rising costs on farms.
In April the National Pig Association warned the British pig sector was on the brink of collapse with many farmers losing £50 for every pig they produce.
“Recent months have been very difficult for pig farmers due to a range of pressures including rising costs and global labour shortages,” said UK Farming Minister, Victoria Prentis.
“We have engaged closely with the sector to support them in considerably reducing the backlog of pigs on farms and I continue to work with producers and retailers to support the sector.
“I hope the industry engages fully with this consultation so that we can help to address the challenges that they are facing.”
Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary, Mairi Gougeon, welcomed the launch of the consultation and said she hoped it would lead to a more consistent approach across the pig supply chain.
She added: “It is imperative that we understand the current supply arrangements within the sector and explore the nature of the relationships between the various parties in the supply chain.
“I would like to encourage all producers and processors across Scotland to take part in this consultation and ensure that their voices are heard on this matter.”
The consultation is online at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/supply-chain-fairness/contractual-practice-in-the-uk-pig-sector