Bpex releases feed cost report

An increase in the price of pork now is likely to stave off massive hikes next year, according to a new report published by pig levy body Bpex.

Bpex has said pig producers are pressing retailers and processors for an immediate increase in the prices they pay for pork. An increase now would be a reflection of the sharp rise in the costs of production faced by farmers, it said.

Bpex’s report, entitled The Impact of Feed Costs on the English Pig Industry, highlights rocketing feed prices as the main cause of losses faced by farmers. Due to these losses, pig farmers in the UK are missing out on around £14 for every pig they produce.

According to the organisation, consumers could face massive increases next year without an immediate and modest increase now. Bpex also said that consumers are on the side of pig producers, and a YouGov survey showed consumers would be willing to pay a little more for Red Tractor pork.

If there is not a small increase now, Bpex said, shoppers could expect to fork out up to 60p extra on a packet of eight sausages, 70p more for a standard pack of bacon and up to £2.50 extra for a pork roasting joint. And these prices will happen within months if mounting losses force more farmers out of the business, said Bpex.

Alternatively, Bpex said that a small increase now of somewhere between 7p and 14p on a pack of bacon could help retailers avoid bigger price hikes.

Bpex head of communications and supply chain development Andrew Knowles said: “The cost of production has soared due to big increases in feed costs and, yet again, pig farmers are facing big losses. But a relatively modest increase of just a few pence now on the retail price would cut farmers’ losses and prevent massive increases to shoppers next year if pig production drops.

“It’s a difficult time to be talking about price increases with many consumers feeling the squeeze, which is why it’s so gratifying to see that consumers appreciate the need for small price increases and the majority are happy to pay a little bit more for pork, bacon and ham, produced responsibly by Red Tractor farmers.”

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