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Livestock: Pigs

In July 2008 the EFRA Select Committee launched an inquiry into the Pig Industry in England. The inquiry looked at the challenges facing the industry and examined the following questions:

  • Are present problems more than just a cyclical imbalance between supply and demand?
  • Are domestic pig welfare standards a principal reason that English producers have problems competing with those outside the UK? Are there other reasons?
  • What could supermarkets and the hospitality industry do to alleviate the pressure on the domestic pig industry?
  • Can the Government do more to support the industry either directly or through its public procurement policies?

A report on the findings (PDF), published in December 2008 gives recommendations on how Government can support the industry in addressing the challenges it faces. One of the recommendations highlighted the need for more collaboration between Government and the various sectors of the industry.  A new sector Task Force has now been set up, aimed at securing the future of the pig meat industry.  This was announced by Farming Minister Jane Kennedy on 17 February.

The Pig Meat Supply Chain Task Force will focus on helping the whole supply chain to thrive in a way that is sustainable in the long term.  It will bring together key representatives from all sectors in the pig meat supply chain to increase collaboration between Government and the various sectors in the industry. The first meeting of the Task Force will be held in March 2009.

Prospects for the industry are already looking up following the broadcast of Jamie’s Oliver’s programme ‘Jamie Saves Our Bacon’, aired on 29 January 2009 on which Jane Kennedy also appeared and supported the promotion British pork. Sales of British pork have risen, in particular (cheaper) joints promoted on the show have seen a major uplift with sales of belly joints rising 66% and shoulder joints by almost 260%.  This is a major boost to the industry.

Further information and guidance for the pig sector:

Pig Meat Supply Chain Task Force
  • A new sector Pig Meat Supply Task Force has now been set up by the Government, aimed at securing the future of the pig meat industry. 
Health and welfare
Pig ID and movements

Provides information and guidance on the requirements for animal identification, notification of movements and requirements for standstill periods.

Also of relevance to the pig sector are the pages on fallen stock, animal by-products and specific topics under the waste management section, including sewage and slurry and waste issues.

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Page last modified: 29 October 2010