14 October 1999
Brown meets pig men today

AGRICULTURE minister Nick Brown today attends a meeting of pig industry representatives as rumours circulate that civil servants are blocking his efforts to help with the current crisis.

Mr Brown will attend the meeting of industry group British Pig Executive (BPEX) days after meeting National Pig Association (NPA) officials.

Richard Campbell, who chairs the BPEX meeting, told Farming Today programme that he was “surprised” at Mr Browns request to attend the meeting.

He added: “We hope he has something positive to say to the industry, something that gives industry real belief that it can get out of this trough and get back to producing pigs profitably and satisfy the consumer in this country.”

Addressing claims that civil servants were resisting Mr Browns efforts, Mr Campbell said he would like to explain to them how important the pig industry is to the country.

He said a blow delivered to the pig industry was felt by the many other sectors depending on it.

In last weeks meeting with the NPA Mr Brown pledged tough labelling rules and said he would look at knock-on effects of the BSE crisis.

However, he made it clear that financial aid from the government was not an option.