Fresh concerns over the potential disruption to traditional pork and bacon export routes due to the Russian ban on EU imports have been voiced by pig industry leaders in Scotland.
Despite the Russian market having been closed to EU pig imports since January this year, the new and extended ban for all EU products, and for many other countries, is going to “heap pressure” on the pork and bacon sector along with everyone else according to NFU Scotland pigs committee chairman, Kevin Gilbert (pictured).
“Any development like this always heaps pressure on the market,” he told Pig World. “It’s bound to have an impact on prices, including for pigmeat. That’s an impact on producers, at least. I doubt it will make any difference at the retail level.”
Mr Gilbert, who farms at Womblehill, Kintore, Aberdeenshire, was commenting on NFU Scotland’s decision to extend the scope of its regular monitoring of retail shop shelves to track the impact of the Russian ban on prices or demand for Scottish produce.
The union regularly uses its “ScotchWatch” monitoring process to examine shelf space in Scottish supermarket stores to look at support given by retailers to Scottish and British beef, pork, lamb and chicken. In light of the Russian ban, the monitor is being extended to soft fruit, vegetables and dairy produce.
NFU Scotland’s food chains relationship manager Kylie Barclay added: “While there are limited direct impacts of the Russian ban on Scottish farmers and their produce, the indirect impacts remain largely unknown.”