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Irish pig producers hold talks with Tesco

by 5m Editor
27 August 2007, at 9:48am

IRELAND - Local pig producers have held talks with Tesco as producers struggle to cope with soaring feed prices.

Pictured at the pig producer / Tesco meeting this week are: Norman Brown from the UFU Pork and Bacon policy committee; UFU President Kenneth Sharkey; Cliff Kells, Tesco; feed trade representative Colin Henry; and Keith Smyton, Ulster Pork and Bacon Forum.

UFU President Kenneth Sharkey and Pork and Bacon Forum Chief Keith Smyton led a delegation to meet Tesco's local management. Farmers called for an increase in returns at the farm gate to offset unprecedented rises in costs.

UFU President Kenneth Sharkey said; "World grain prices have rocketed in recent months as the effects of global weather extremes, a switch of land use to energy crops, and the emergence of the Chinese and Indian economies take hold. These factors are outside our control but they are driving up world wheat prices to unprecedented levels and farmers are seeing their costs soar. Local pig producers feed costs have risen by 40% in less than a year, but farm gate prices have stood still. This is unsustainable and we have asked Tesco to show leadership in the local supply chain and address this urgently".

Keith Smyton added; "With these increases in feed costs, production of bacon and pork in Northern Ireland simply can not continue unless prices to producers increase to take account of rising costs. Retail price will have to rise to achieve this".

The UFU says Tesco representatives acknowledged that the issue needs to be resolved urgently. Kenneth Sharkey said; "The discussions were productive and Tesco accepted that the current situation facing producers needed to be tackled. We now plan to hold further urgent discussions between the retailer and their suppliers to make progress on prices".

Meanwhile, JIM Allister MEP has tabled a series of Parliamentary questions to the European Commission and Council, as efforts continue to avert growing rises in feed costs affecting Northern Ireland livestock farmers.

Source: Farming Life

5m Editor