The Scottish Government is funding a third tranche of support for the hard-pressed pig industry as the National Pig Association (NPA) steps up its campaign for retailers to pay a fair price for the product.
The government’s initial Pig Producers Hardship Support Scheme was launched in August 2021, and targeted at farmers who supplied Brechin’s Quality Pig Processors (QPP) plant.
It was extended in January 2022 and the latest £410,000 top-up, which will open for applications in the next few weeks, will take total support to just over £1.8 million.
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “The last year has been particularly challenging for our pig industry.
“We are providing them with cash flow security by extending the scheme once again to cover deductions that were not previously compensated for.”
Meanwhile, the NPA has told Tesco it needs to do more to support the industry or risk losing its British pork supply base, as a survey shows four in every five producers will go out of business within a year unless their financial situation improves.
The pig industry has already lost an estimated 10% of the breeding herd as producers have left the industry or cut down on production, while polling of British pig farmers by NPA shows that 80% will not be able to survive the next 12 months unless the gap between the cost of production and pig prices is significantly reduced.
NPA data suggests there are still 100,000 pigs stuck on farms that should have gone to slaughter and farmers are losing in excess of £50 per pig due to the gap between their cost of production and the price the supply chain is paying for pork.