NFU alerts OFT over abattoir levies
By FWi staff
SOME abattoirs have already started imposing levies on pig producers to compensate for the Governments decision to abolish rendering aid to the industry.
The National Farmers Union has written to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) following reports that some abattoirs have imposed levies on pig producers. Abattoir owners claim that their profit margins have been slashed by the Governments decision to cut rendering aid.
NFU deputy president Tony Pexton said: “We have reports that some pig abattoirs have written to producers explaining they will be levying a charge per animal to make up for the reduction in rendering subsidy.”
“Judging from the reports the NFU has received, it appears to be happening at pig abattoirs across the country – so we have drawn this to the attention of the Office of Fair Trading to ensure they monitor the situation,” Mr Pexton said.
He said the NFU had lobbied hard for months to retain Government help with the disposal of unmarketable offal, arguing that costs arising from rendering aid being scrapped would inevitably be passed on to farmers.
Mr Pexton said the NFU was anxious that other abattoirs did not follow suit, and that each one should individually consider the impact of this extra cost on their own overheads.
“To penalise pig farmers in this way is unacceptable – the NFU has always argued that any costs such as these should not be met by an identifiable levy, but should be reflected individually by each processor, depending on the impact of this extra cost on their own business,” he said.
The NFU is urging any pig producers who have been contacted by abattoirs about extra charges to check any written contracts that may make provision for amendments to terms.