farmers to campaign for fairer pig prices
Mr Bacon (centre) was joined at
the rally by constituents Peter
Buck (left) and Eamon Lambert
(right) and Winnie the Pig
Hundreds of pig farmers from across the country brought their campaign for fairer prices for their pigs to Downing Street on Tuesday 4th March.
The ‘Pigs are worth it! Rally’ aimed to secure support from MPs and Peers for the pig farmers’ fight to save the British pig. The British pig industry is on the verge of vanishing. Feed prices have almost doubled over the past year and farmers are now losing more than £20 on every pig raised.
A cross party Early Day Motion tabled by British pig supporter Richard Bacon MP is calling for the Government’s support to stop the disappearance of the British pig. Consumers have said they are happy to pay more for high welfare pork to help farmers and supermarkets have raised prices on fresh pork, bacon and other pork products. But little if any of this increase has flowed down the supply chain to farmers.
Stewart Houston, chairman of BPEX said: “We have reached crisis point. Without an increase farmers stand to lose approximately £200 million in the next year and many face the prospect of going out of business. Then consumers will lose the choice to buy higher welfare Quality Standard Mark pork, bacon and ham. Seventy per cent of all imported produce would be illegal to produce in the UK as it doesn’t currently meet our higher welfare standards.”
Richard Bacon MP said, “Saving the British pig has to be a priority for MPs from all parties. The British pig industry has the highest animal welfare standards and that’s something we should be supporting. I have written to supermarkets and processors asking them to help secure a fair price for British pig farmers.”
Richard Longthorp, a pig farmer from Howden in Yorkshire said: “We don’t want any special treatment. All we are asking for is a fairer share. Feed represents around 50% of our costs and this has gone up massively. Prices are going up but we’re not getting a share of it. If things don’t change we’ll see a lot of farmers going out of business.”
The Rally took place in Whitehall, opposite Downing Street. A petition calling for support for pig farmers was presented to Number Ten at 12pm by a group of farmers. A demonstration in Whitehall was followed with farmers meeting MPs and Peers to ask for their support.
The event was organised by National Pig Association, with the support of the British Pig Executive (BPEX). Coaches brought farmers to the Rally from Yorkshire, East Anglia and the West Country.
4 March 2008
|© Richard Bacon 2010|