Brussels must match us in professionalism, pig farmers tell MEPs

Brussels must match us in professionalism, pig farmers tell MEPs

The British pig industry has made huge strides in professionalism— but in some areas it is being sold short by Brussels, National Pig Association chairman Richard Longthorp told MEPs at a British-bacon-and-eggs breakfast organised by the British Agriculture Bureau in association with the NFU and the NPA and hosted by Vicky Ford MEP.

Longthorp pointed out that in several ways the industry was shackled by a Brussels executive that did not always inspire confidence in producers or consumers — citing insufficient checks and enforcement of the 2013 gestation stall ban and an apparent reluctance to introduce country of origin labelling for processed meats.

“Consumers have been faced with a host of real and potential issues and continue to seek more assurances regarding food safety, provenance and ethical and environmental criteria,” he told MEPs.
“Being professional is not simply about doing a good job. It’s about doing a job with a high degree of competence that is clearly demonstrable, thereby inspiring confidence.” It was essential, he said, that all food producers across Europe inspired confidence in consumers, regulators and society at large through professionalism.

He highlighted the steps towards professionalism taken by the British industry, including Real Welfare audits, certification of husbandry standards, recording on-farm use of antibiotics, independently auditing more than 90 percent of pigs for regulatory compliance and good practice, as well as the new professional register, which recorded the continued professional development of farm staff.

Given all these advances, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) afforded a big opportunity for Europe’s high-welfare pork, but it also posed a threat, he warned. “If internal European Union pork markets are opened up to pork produced to lesser standards and with a consequent lower cost of production there is absolutely no doubt what will happen. European Union pig production will be exported to countries with lower standards. We saw this happen in Britain 15 years ago when we introduced our unilateral stalls ban.”

Previous / Next posts...

Warning: Undefined variable $nextthumbnail in /home/yandellpublishin/ on line 73

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *