July 5, 2011

Pig farmers in UK paid less than in Cambodia

[Farmers Weekly Interactive]

British pig producers earn less than farmers in Cambodia, it has emerged.

The farm-gate price for pigs in Cambodia is equivalent to £2.47/kg, according to Yorkshire breeding company ACMC, which is doing business in the country.

This compares with a UK pig price of just £1.51/kg.

ACMC managing director Matthew Curtis said the figures showed that poorer countries were prepared to pay more for their pork than British retailers.

"This makes a mockery of the claims by major retailers that ordinary British people are not in a position to pay more for their pigmeat," he said.

"It is extremely cheap, even when compared with other red meats in this country."

British retailers priced a fillet of beef at about £35/kg compared with just £7 for fillet of pork, Mr Curtis said.

Retailers were making a fortune out of the pig industry while British pig farmers were losing up to £15 on every pig they produced.

"The price paid for pigs by processors and retailers in a supposedly rich 'First World' country hasn't reflected the increase in feed prices.

"Pig farmers can't sustain these losses.

"If prices don't increase to a realistic level, they will simply be driven out of business and retailers will have killed the goose that's laying their golden eggs."

BPEX chairman Stewart Houston called on retailers to "engage enthusiastically" with the supply chain and share the risks currently faced by farmers.

Doing so would enable farmers to make a living and continue to provide pork and pigmeat products at an attractive price, he said.

"Even the Chinese, who have half the world's pigs, are prepared to pay more than the British," said Mr Houston.

"Their pig farmers are currently receiving around £2.55/kg."


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