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Retail support needed for local suppliers, says Ulster farmers

by 5m Editor
6 June 2007, at 6:27am

UK - Rising feed costs and falling farm gate prices must be addressed to secure the future of the local pig industry, says the Ulster Farmers’ Union.

County Armagh pig producer Raymond Pogue, Chairman of the UFU Pork and Bacon Policy Committee, said prices paid to farmers were not taking account of rising costs.

Mr Pogue said that last October producers were receiving a reasonable farm gate price for finished pigs and confidence was high . However farm gate prices have fallen by between 10 and 15 per cent since then, while grain and feed costs have risen by more than 20 per cent.

"When you see costs rising steadily and your farm gate price going in the other direction it’s a big worry for producers," he added.

The UFU says the situation facing pig producers is another example of the issues which continue to plague the local food chain.

UFU President Kenneth Sharkey said that there is huge concern in the pig industry and in other sectors such as beef and lamb.

"These are issues that we will have to see addressed, particularly by the large retailers who purchase large volumes of our local products. We have to spell out to them that they can’t keep taking farmers and local supplies for granted. For example retailers are well aware that pig producers feed costs have been rising, but this is not being recognised," he added.

5m Editor