NFU Scotland has proposed a package of measures to ease the severe pressure on the nation’s pig sector caused by imports of cheaper, lower welfare pigmeat from continental Europe and the persistent high cost of grain.
The measures include: Writing formally to the UK Government asking them to set out a timetable for a supermarket adjudicator;
Working together to ensure those at the top of the supply chain recognise the enormous pressure at farm level in the pigs sector;
Prioritisation of the pigs sector for a future round of rural development funding;
Examining mechanisms to help manage risk and volatility, including potential use of future markets and hedging;
Pushing for a move to less frequent risk-based Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) scheme inspections, in line with new European legislation.
NFU Scotland Vice-President John Picken said: “Some retailers appear to have taken advantage of falling continental prices to stock their shelves with imported pork. Scottish pig producers have been producing products to higher welfare standards than most other EU member states, but the extra cost of this is not being recognised in the price at farmgate level.’’