NFU Scotland is highlighting once again its enormous concerns
for the future of the Scottish pig industry after yet another week
with no positive news.
The pig industry was in crisis even before it suffered
the effects of foot and mouth disease (FMD) at the end
of last year, having seen enormous increases in feed prices.
Now, the culmination of input cost increases and FMD has
led to pig farmers now losing an average of £26 for
every pig they sell.
Jim McLaren, NFU Scotland President, said:
“The word ‘crisis’ has never been more
apt. The Scottish pig industry is losing producers at a
rate of knots and if this haemorrhaging continues we will
lose our entire herd in Scotland. It’s as simple
“The credit crisis has caused panic in financial
markets across the world this week, and one result already
has been the devaluing of Sterling against the Euro. This
ought to be enormously significant for the pig industry
since it increases the price of our competitors’ imported
products, making UK and Scottish produced goods better
value. This means that retailers no longer have the excuse
of telling us that our products are not competitive.
“However, it also means that producer input costs
increase if we are importing feed and other supplies from
elsewhere in Europe.
“Sadly, the pig industry hasn’t seen the benefit
of the currency devaluing since retailers have not moved
to increase farmgate prices. Despite enormous input cost
increases, the price per kilo for pig meat has only increased
by around 2 pence over recent months.
“Add to all this a refusal from Brussels yesterday
to offer any more aid to the pig sector in terms of export
refunds and the industry is well and truly on its last
“It doesn’t take a genius to work out how
this problem can be solved. I have been speaking to retailers
every day over recent weeks and they have made promises
to increase the price they pay to producers. However, none
of them has yet converted these warm words into action
and that is what is needed now to save the pig industry
“We also need consumers to check all the packaging
when they buy their pork in the supermarket and to choose
pork and bacon from Scotland if they wish to see Scottish
pork products on the shelves in future.”
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