Pig men await Brown plan
PIG producers are waiting to see what measures agriculture minister Nick Brown is going to announce to help the beleaguered industry.
In two consecutive days Mr Brown has told the House of Commons he is aware of the plight of pig producers, and has met industry representatives three times in a fortnight.
He told the Commons he had been working very closely with industry figures on a range of measures and “hope to have something in the next few days”.
Speaking to Radio 4s Farming Today, pig producer and member of industry body the British Pig Executive (BPEX) John Rowbotham outlined what he hoped to see.
He called for measures to remedy the “BSE tax” – the knock-on costs from the BSE crisis – and speedy improvements on labelling.
Currently, imported pigmeat can be labelled British if it is processed in this country.
Mr Brown has already pledged to introduce tough labelling guidelines which can be enforced by trading standards officers.
He also told BPEX he would appoint two officials to police labelling and check that supermarkets take an agreed percentage of home-sourced produce.
Mr Rowbotham said: “Im excited if an announcement is about to be made as any help is desperately needed.
According to the National Pig Association, pig farmers have been losing money for the last 18 months. The average pig is being sold at a £7 loss.
- Brown to detail new help for pigs , FWi, 21 October 1999
- Brown to meet pig farmers, FWi, 22 September, 1999
- Brown rejects pig mens accusations, FWi, 29 June 1999