Buy British: British pig farmers urge retailers to avoid cheaper EU pork
LONDON, Oct. 1 (Reuters) – Britain’s National Pig Association on Friday urged retailers across the country to continue buying local pork and not cheaper EU produce, warning that many producers would go bankrupt if they don’t were not properly supported.
An acute shortage of butchers and slaughterers in the meat processing industry has left processors operating at a 25% drop in capacity, meaning tens of thousands of pigs are left on farms and face impending slaughter.
“We are also aware that some retailers, who have so far been very supportive of their UK supply chains, are now considering switching to EU pork because it is much cheaper,” the association said in an open letter to retailers.
“It would make our situation worse to the point that many more hog producers, in addition to those responsible for the 27,500 sows we already know, would have no choice but to leave the industry.”
The labor shortage in the industry has been exacerbated by COVID-19 and Britain’s post-Brexit immigration policy, which has restricted the flow of workers from Eastern Europe.
The pig association said that despite attempts to persuade the government to relax immigration rules, it appeared to be at a stalemate.
Reporting by James Davey and Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Kate Holton
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.