18 February 2000

Bacon group raises standard price to 76p/kg

BRITAINS biggest bacon group, Malton Foods, has followed several other abattoirs and increased its standard price by 6p to 76p/kg.

Dalehead Foods took the lead last Friday, raising its 12mm backfat price by 4p to 79p/kg deadweight, quickly followed by a 5p rise from Glanbia to 80p/kg. Cranswick Country Foods and Grampian notched up similar increases, with the former predicting a further 2p climb today.

Doug Denny of Dalehead Foods says the rise follows a slow improvement in European prices and a shortage of UK pigs. "Slaughtering was down to 270,0000 last week for the first time."

More sow cullings could produce a further fall in clean killings by April, and prices should reach £1/kg before the end of the year, he adds.

Mick Sloyan of the Meat and Livestock Commission welcomes the first rise in many months, but says farmers still need another 15p/kg to break-even.

Ian Campbell, of the National Pig Association, says price rises must be sustained if confidence is to return to farmers – and bankers. "Banks have been good, but the past four months has tested their resolve." &#42