The Government has launched a review of the pig sector to increase fairness and transparency in the industry.
The consultation follows recent challenges experienced by the sector due to global pressures including rising costs and labour shortages, which have raised questions about the functioning of the supply chain. It seeks views on issues such as transparency, price reporting, clarity of contractual terms and conditions, and market consolidation.
It will run until October 7 and invites views from pig farmers, abattoirs, processors, retailers, marketing groups and all stakeholders involved in the pig supply chain across the whole country.
The announcement is the latest action from the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations to support farmers as they have been dealing with turbulence in international commodity markets, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, leading to increased input costs, including feed, fuel, energy, and fertiliser. Farming Minister Victoria Prentis said: “Recent months have been very difficult for pig farmers due to a range of pressures including rising costs and global labour shortages. “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 am a firm believer in ‘Buy British’ and supporting our domestic pig producers, and a fair and transparent supply chain is paramount. I hope the industry engages fully with this consultation so that we can help to address the challenges that they are facing.”
Scottish Government’s Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands Mairi Gougeon said: “The COVID-19 pandemic and the continued lack of available skilled labour have had a disproportionate impact on the pig sector. “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 welcome this consultation, with the hope that it effects proposals for a more consistent approach across the pig 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.”
Welsh Government Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths said: “These are challenging times for the pig sector and I encourage everyone involved in the industry in Wales to respond to the consultation.”