Pig farmers warn of shortage of bacon and pork

World pig farmers are warning of a shortage of bacon and pork next year because pig -feed has become unaffordable following disastrous growing and harvesting weather.

Governments are becoming increasingly concerned and around the world pig farmers are selling their herds because they can no longer afford to feed their pigs.

In the USA, the government has introduced a pork-buying programme in a bid to keep its pig farmers in business. And the Chinese government is putting pork into cold storage as a buffer against shortages and high prices next year.

Pig industry leaders from across the European Union met in London last Friday (31 August) to explore ways to ensure pork remains the world’s most affordable red meat.

They reported pig herds were being sold because prices were not rising fast enough in supermarkets to cover the cost of record-high feed costs.

The National Pig Association is asking shoppers to only buy packs of bacon and pork carrying the Red Tractor logo to keep British pig farmers in business.

The organisation said soaring feed costs as a result of harvest failure around the world were threatening the future of British bacon, sausages, pork pies, roasts, chops, ham and spare ribs.

NPA chairman Richard Longthorp said: “It usually takes at least six months for higher production costs to filter through to shop prices – but pig farmers simply haven’t got that long.

“Some have got only a few weeks left before they run out of credit at the bank and have to sell up, and this is happening all over Europe.”

Mr Longthorp, who farms outdoor pigs in Europe, added that the retail price of pork urgently needed to rise to offset farmers’ rising costs and keep them in business. But he still wanted pork, which is half the price of lamb and beef, to remain the most affordable meat.

“Some forecasters believe the price (of pork) will increase by more than one-third eventually,” he said.

“But we would rather see a more immediate, modest, but sustainable rise that would allow producers to get into profit sooner, thereby preventing the wholesale reduction in the pig herd, with the inevitable record prices that would follow.”

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