Pig International - November 2012 - 8
UK pig producers call for
Organizations representing UK pig producers
have called on Europe to consider more transparent pricing mechanisms and more robust
contractual requirements to support the sector,
highlighting the progress made in addressing
issues within the dairy sector at an EU level as
a potential model to deliver a more sustainable
and balanced pork supply chain.
"Agriculture within Europe has already
had to absorb the initial shocks of increased
costs within the livestock sector without
significant recompense from the market,"
said representatives of NFU Scotland, the
Ulster Farmers' Union and the National
Pig Association in a letter to the European
Commission. "No sector is more vulnerable to
input feed costs than pig production. The EU
has reviewed the operation of the milk market
in Europe and intervened with new contractual standards and vehicles to empower
producers. It is now imperative that a similar
initiative is fast-tracked to underpin the EU
According to the industry, in the present
economic climate, producers face a perfect
storm of cost escalation with no shelter from
the competition of lower welfare systems
and no significant support from the market.
"Pig production has always been exposed
to market forces with many producers now
utilizing their own cereal resources or fixing
costs through forward buying and contracts to
smooth the effect of commodity movements
on the production enterprise," said the letter. "That approach is becoming less viable
as climate change drives extreme volatility in
basic feed prices, and markets for pig meat are
dominated by major retailers with the ability
to control the market price at levels which are
Transparent price reporting should be in
place throughout Europe, and maintaining an
artificially low reporting price level is one factor that can stall the positive price movements
that support production and provide a sustainable economic environment on farm, according to the organizations. In addition, "it is now
essential that there are options for producers
supplying the larger buyers or processors,"
they said. "It is not acceptable that animals
are traded on a weekly offer price alone;
there should be an option to supply through a
contract, the price being defined by an agreed
transparent pricing mechanism.
"This is a complex area, but it is crucial
Custom reprint products of articles and features from Pig International create
powerful marketing tools that serve as instantly credible endorsements.
For additional information, please contact Foster Printing Service, the ofﬁcial reprint provider for Pig International.
Call 866.879.9144 or email@example.com
www.WATTAgNet.com | November/December 2012