28 June 2000
Pig farmers able to profit at last

WITH pigmeat prices hitting the crucial 95p/kg mark, farmers should finally be able to cover their costs and move back into profit.

But talk that the crisis in the industry is over is premature, says Mick Sloyan, manager of the British Pig Executive.

He said it was encouraging that prices were now over break-even, but this should be seen in the context of 340 million losses accumulated in the past few years.

“We still have a long way to go to recoup those losses,” Mr Sloyan told the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme.

A relatively short supply on the market, increasing demand on the Continent and an easing in the value of sterling has helped push prices up.

The shake out in the British pig industry has seen production fall 12% on a year ago, and 20% on 1998.

Mr Sloyan said the crisis had taught producers to cut unnecessary costs and seek to achieve things for themselves, whether through direct marketing or political pressure.