Farmers step up letter-writing pressure

Pig farmers are understood to be keeping up the pressure on retailers by extending a letter-writing campaign.

NPA chairman Stewart Houston wrote to the boards of the UK’s biggest multiple retailers last month, calling on them to pay more to pig farmers. In the letter he warned that failure to pay producers a fair price could put them in breach of their corporate social responsibility commitments and plunge the pig industry into deeper crisis.

Now, individual producers are taking action, writing their own letters to the major multiple retailers and calling for an increase in the price paid for their pigmeat. Some are also believed to have written to the national and regional press to raise awareness of their plight.

One producer said: “We’re taking this action because the problem is not going away. We’re facing high feed costs — with no sign of a let-up for the next 14 months. Unless the DAPP raises — and quickly — it could be the end. Many of us are staring at financial ruin and the point will come soon where we’ll have to cut our losses and leave production.”