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Belgian Producers Block Distribution Centres

by 5m Editor
20 July 2009, at 11:37am

BELGIUM - Angry producers blocked access to four large retailer distribution centres in Belgium. According to the Flemish union for pig producers, about 750 producers took part, in protest at low pig prices, despite a shrinking national herd.

"If there will be no higher prices, a large number of pork producers may collapse under the suffocating pressure from retailers," said an industry leader. He is convinced the free market is being manipulated.

"Over the last weeks, prices have even decreased despite good barbecue weather, the large demand and the shrinking number of pigs. This is not correct.

"Short-term, customers get food for low prices, but it would be impossible for producers to continue to produce below cost price. The sector is just wrung out and eventually the customers will know as well."

Producers are demanding that prices at least cover costs of production.

Recently they asked European Pig Producers to help in the fight for better prices. But European Pig Producers declined, saying it was not a "political" organisation.