This week's accusations from pork producers mark the latest development in an increasingly tense relationship between pig farmers and retailers.
In May, the National Pig Association wrote to the board directors of the UK's leading retailers, urging them to take action on pork prices or risk falling foul of their CSR commitments.
The major multiples have since increased the retail price of a number of their fresh pork lines, starting with Tesco, which upped the price of its boneless pork leg joints from £10.75 to £11.50 at the beginning of June [BrandView.co.uk].
Among others, its loin steaks also went up from £8.49 to £8.99 for a pack of two while its pork fillets (560g) rose from £4.80 to £5.08. Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons swiftly followed suit. The BrandView data reveals that Asda put up the price of its pork fillets from £7.98/kg to £8.48/kg during the week starting 15 June, while Sainsbury's added 50p per kilo to the price of its Basics pork chops (from £3.54/kg to £3.99/kg) and Morrisons increased the price of its pork fillets from £8.49/kg to £8.99/kg.
However, producers claimed there had been no commensurate increase in the price they were paid per pig, which currently stands at £1.52, and renewed calls for the DAPP the average price paid to pig farmers to go up.
"We are urging retailers to ensure that monies are passed down the supply chain to producers and that the DAPP more equitably reflects these new increased retail prices," said NPA chairman Stewart Houston
According to estimates from the AHDB, the big four could be making an additional £2m a month in profits from fresh pork sales as a result of the retail sales increases, although some producers claimed additional profits could run to as much as £10m.