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Set-aside Not Likely to Help Pig Producers

by 5m Editor
8 January 2009, at 8:14am

UK - If Defra is successful in its ambition to retain an element of compulsory set-aside in England — as a unilateral measure that is not mirrored elsewhere in Europe — it will hamper the production of affordable food, says NPA chairman Stewart Houston.

Retention of compulsory set-aside, which was being discontinued elsewhere in Europe, would be really bad news for the pig industry at a time when producers were trying to cut costs, he said.

The use of cereals for biofuels was already having an impact on the cost of grain. Reduction in the national pig herd last year showed the effect of higher feed costs on producers.

A small shift in cereals supply caused by set-aside could have a significant impact, he said. He has sent an informal note to farming minister Jane Kennedy on the issue.