Scots seek retailers’ backing for home-produced pigmeat

Scotland’s pig farming leaders are to meet retailers to discuss the “positioning and publicity of Specially Selected Pork”, backed by a producer-led “shelfwatch initiative” to monitor future product displays.

The move, announced by NFU Scotland, has been taken in response to pig prices reaching an eight-year low, leaving farmers with a loss of £10 for every pig sold.

“This should be a time of positivity for the Scottish pig industry with the new abattoir at Brechin set to double its processing capacity, allowing more Scottish pigs to be processed in Scotland,” said NFUS pigs committee chairman, Kevin Gilbert. “This will reduce haulage costs (for the Scottish product), allowing wider stocking of Scottish labelled Specially Selected Pork across the major supermarkets within Scotland.”

Instead, prices remain in a state of “sharp decline” with pigmeat oversupply in Europe, due to the Russian import ban, topping the union’s list of negative market factors.

“Looking simply at the past year, prices are down 20-25p/kg dwt which represents a decrease of about 18%,” said Mr Gilbert. “Production simply cannot be sustainable at these prices.

“The price of pork on the shelf has also fallen but not by as much as the producer price, with the share of the retail price returned to producers falling 5% in November.

“It is clear that a lot of cheaper European meat is being substituted for UK product, especially in processed meat products. Retailers could really help UK producers at this time by showing greater loyalty to Scottish and UK product.”

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