Co-op lifeline for UK pig farmers

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Convenience retailer Co-op has called on other leading supermarkets to back UK pig farmers by selling more British produced pork. Pig farmers have been struggling since before the pandemic and around 60 per cent of the pork consumed in the UK is imported.

Now more retailers have pledged extra help for to support desperate farmers with additional payments – including Co-op which has pledged £19 million – but the retailer has said “it’s too little but not too late to go further.” Co-op has invested the cash to boost its support for British pig farmers by introducing a new pricing model designed to help manage rising production costs.

The Co-op removed imported bacon from its stores five years ago to move to 100 per cent British pork, from chops to bacon and ham. Matt Hood, of Co-op Food, said: “Some of the support for the sector is too little but it’s not too late for supermarkets to do their bit to help more British farmers.

“Switching to UK produced pork is the strongest commitment retailers can give to UK farmers at a time when the sector is experiencing unprecedented spiralling costs. Pig farmers have been facing historically high feed costs even before Christmas, which has now been exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine.

“As a result, many UK farmers are suffering significant losses, and some tragically have been forced to close their farms. Co-op is a longstanding and leading supporter of British farming and our new pricing model will see us go even further.

 

by Brett Gibson / Bristol Post

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