The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) has called for a fair return for British dairy and pig farmers amid soaring feed costs.

In recent months, prices of raw ingredients for feed producers have soared due to shifts in world markets.

For instance, the London futures price for November wheat has increased by more than £40/t, while the Chicago soya price for September has increased by more than £80/t. At the same time, haulage and fuel costs continue to rise inexorably.

“Feed producers find themselves between a rock and hard place,” said AIC chief executive David Caffall. “On the one hand, costs beyond their control are rising, while on the other hand their farmer customers are receiving inadequate returns for their produce.”

AIC, which represents the UK’s animal feed sector, said a sustainable agricultural sector required a fair return for everyone involved in the supply chain, from ingredient supplier through to feed producer and distributor to the farm and on to the retail shelf.

“There must be equitable returns at every step if we are to achieve a truly sustainable industry capable of delivering quality food to a growing population,” said Mr Caffall.

“That is why AIC stands firmly alongside our livestock customers in demanding fair returns.”

AIC said the lack of profitability in the dairy and pig industries was threatening more than just farmers.

“We estimate AIC feed members directly employ about 7,500 people and indirectly contribute to many other industry sectors and local economies,” said Mr Caffall.

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