3 November 1995

Set-price contracts call

PIG contracts should be based on a set price a kg rather than one that fluctuates according to the AAPP or spot prices, outdoor producer and arable farmer Nick Allen told the conference.

"A method of beating the peaks and troughs in pig prices is needed but currently contracts seem to mean little and can be reneged on," said Mr Allen, who has 450 outdoor sows near Winchester, Hants.

"A tighter system would also create a situation where anyone wanting to establish a pig herd would be obliged to seek out a contract and place his pigs before embarking on the enterprise.

"It would also clear the way for an effective futures market giving the industry a clear long-term guide," he said.

Calling for a closer relationship throughout the production chain, Mr Allen said: "Too many middlemen take profit out of the UK industry, unlike our Continental rivals who make more use of co-operatives, or the Americans who have large units and groups."