NPA drafts plan for “fairer and more sustainable” food supply chain
The National Pig Association (NPA) has announced that it is formulating “a unified response” to Defra’s consultation on its pork supply chain review, with the aim of giving producers “a stronger footing”.
Speaking at a NPA Industry Group meeting, regional pig producer representatives said that they felt “a deep sense of unease and anxiety” within the pig sector. The NPA’s forthcoming response seeks to bring about “real change” and “fight for a brighter, fairer future.”
NPA chairman Rob Mutimer said that the Association is working hard to formulate a response that reflects the views of their “diverse membership” and that the whole industry can get behind.
He said: “After all, we all hold the same goal of using this unique opportunity to bring about a fairer and more sustainable pork supply chain.
“It is equally important that producers respond individually, outlining [their] own current situation and what [they] want from future contractual relations with [their] buyer or buyers. The louder our voice, the stronger case we have for change.”
Defra’s June Agricultural Survey for England showed a 17% drop in the breed herd, year on year, which presents a loss of more than 50,000 sows in the space of 12 months.
A representative at the meeting said there is a “general gloominess” around most of the producers he has spoken to, and more producers are talking of leaving the industry.
They added: “Some producers are still getting pigs rolled and a few people are worried about the rising price of CO2 for processors and how that might be passed down the supply chain to the producer.”
Another representative said there is a “general unease about what is coming” referring to the cost of feed and rising energy price. These comments were echoed by the Northern and Midlands representatives, who both cited the soaring costs producers are experiencing.