Pig men losing &7m a week Curry

09 September 1998

Pig men losing &7m a week — Curry

PIG-FARMERS in the UK are now losing £7 million a week – and times are getting tough for sheep-farmers, too, as lamb prices plummet.

Speaking at Ashford market, Kent, Meat and Liv estock Commission Chairman Don Curry told of bankruptcies among pig farmers and the blow to the sheep trade from the Russian economic disaster.

Pig prices were now down to 70-75p/kg, he said, while lamb had dropped from over £1/kg to under 85p in less than a month, the latter mainly due to the Russian sheepskin market drying up. Prices paid for skins had fallen fromnover £10 to about £2, he added.

Although admitting that beef prices were still depressed, Mr Curry took some heart from firm retail sales and, in some cases, increases.

Mr Curry went on to list the MLCs efforts in combatting the meat-industry crisis:

  • The pig industry is benefiting from a £3m promotional campaign, backed up with a nine-point self-help plan for pig farmers and a lobbying campaign among 200 MPs;
  • £2m is being spent on a campaign to boost lamb consumption among younger people. “Quick Lamb” pushes the speed and convenience of lamb cooking based on a range of new cuts, all of them trimmed and boneless;
  • Beef will be backed by the results of a long-term look at the business by the MLC. Its conclusions on profiting from beef at lower prices will be set down in a new advisory publication, Making Money out of Beef – a strategy for survival, due for launch on 15 September.

  • Read a summary of Making Money out of Beef – and order your own free copy of the full report – on FWi from 15 September, 1998.

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