Pig levy to rise by 10p

Ministers from Defra, the Scottish government, the Welsh Assembly government and DARD have agreed that the UK pig levy should be restored to the pre-crisis rate.

The levy paid by pig producers was cut by to 75p per pig slaughtered last year in response to the crisis faced by producers as a result of rocketing feed costs. Following consultation with the industry, AHDB proposed that the levy be returned to 85p this year and ministers have now approved the move.

"The market is now stabilising and therefore it has been decided, following industry consultation, to reinstate the full levy to deliver the BPEX proposed programme of activity for the English pig sector," said an Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) spokesperson.

BPEX chairman Stewart Houston said: "The cut was made in recognition of the difficult times the industry was going through. Since then the market has improved, though it would be wrong to believe everything in the garden is rosy."

The change will take effect from Monday, April 6 and will mean that the total amount paid by producers and processors will be go back up to £1.05 per pig.

"The money will be used by BPEX to implement its strategy to help create a sustainable and profitable future for the English industry," said Houston.

The levy rates for the beef and lamb sectors remain unchanged from the 2008/09 rate.