Food service operators have a responsibility to pay more for pork to show their support for pig farmers, says Mick Sloyan, chief executive, British Pig Executive (BPEX)
British consumers are more concerned than ever before about where their food comes from.
When it comes to pork, bacon, sausages and ham, the Pigmeat Quality Standard Mark delivers excellent standards of welfare. That means the pigs are well-treated and provided with high quality feed.
Due to price pressure from food service operators, catering butchers and retailers, farmers are now being paid around £1.10 per kg for a pig that now costs them £1.44 per kg to produce.
For every pig a farmer rears and sells, he is likely to lose more than £20.
This can't go on. Continual pressure on the price of pork, bacon and ham will squeeze the life out of pig farming. Unless the food industry as a whole is prepared to support our farmers by specifying British when buying pork and pork products - and paying more for those products - there is a very real danger that the industry will collapse.
If that were to happen, caterers would have no choice but to buy imported product which may well have come from farms that operate welfare practices which would be illegal in Britain. (For more information see www.lookforthemark.co.uk/why.asp).
By acting now to ensure that pig farmers are paid a fair and sustainable price, food service operators and retailers can prevent this from happening.
Just a few pence more per kg would help to preserve British pig farming. Surely that's a small price worth paying?
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