26 February 1999

Pig group step nearer reality

A NEW, producer-owned pig marketing group which aims to sell a third of the UKs throughput came a step closer to reality this week.

Eleven producer groups met on Tuesday to build on original plans discussed over the winter (Business, Jan 22). Independent facilitator Robin Pooley described the meeting as successful.

"Negotiations are on track, and have moved into a positive phase. We have now got down to the nitty-gritty dealing with the construction of the group, although this does not mean that any of the individual groups are irreversibly committed."

These talks are likely to take a few weeks, he added. "We will not have any firm conclusions until then."

Groups participating in the talks market about 5m pigs a year, about 30% of the UK total. Another three groups which were considering their position a month ago are understood not to have attended the meeting. &#42