Cheap pork imports and insolvent farmers will be back in the news from Monday [January 10] when the National Pig Association and British Pig Executive step up their campaign for official aid by publishing a report "set to reveal the true depth of the continuing crisis in the industry". The new study by British Pig Executive manager Mick Sloyan and Meat and Livestock Commission economist Tony Fowler tries to shift the focus onto the politically sensitive issue of jobs, claiming employment has shrunk by 25,000 since the crisis started in 1998 and a further 28,000 are under immediate threat. Pig industry losses are said to have reached £105 million, with the total loss to the economy put at £1.2 billion. These estimates are disputed within the industry even by some of the producers's strong supporters, one of whom told The Grocer on Tuesday this "weak propaganda" could actually damage their cause. But this critic did not question the severity of the crisis. Like MAFF officials in private, his concern was more the lack of credible suggestions for solving it even given political willingness to help. For retailers, the threat is not only of more attacks from farmers. Supply chain disruption is possible, as at least one processor with substantial multiple business is rumoured to be in serious financial trouble. {{MEAT }}

Topics