Retailer Co-op has invested £19 million (€22.4 million) to help support the UK pig-farming sector and has urged other retailers to back British pig farmers.
The new pricing model implemented by Co-op aims to link the price to the cost of production and help farmers manage rising production costs.
It is the latest retailer to announce its support, following the official announcement of a £16 million support package by Waitrose. Tesco and Sainsbury’s have also announced funding, of £6.6 million and £2.8 million, respectively.
'Record Cost Of Production'
Commenting, Rob Mutimer, National Pig Association chairman, said, “The Co-op has long been a loyal supporter of British pig producers, and we very much welcome this support, which will help pork suppliers cover the record costs of production they currently face.
“Most of the big retailers have now acted, in some way, to inject more money into the supply chain, but while the price increases are very welcome, with wheat having reached £350 a tonne this week, they are still not matching soaring input costs.”
The Co-op transitioned to 100% British pork five years ago.
'Not Too Late'
Elsewhere, Matt Hood, co-MD of Co-op Food, said, “Some of the support for the sector is too little, but it’s not too late for supermarkets to do their bit to help more British farmers. Switching to UK-produced pork is the strongest commitment retailers can give to UK farmers at a time when the sector is experiencing unprecedented spiralling costs."
Hood added that pig farmers have been facing "historically high" feed costs, which have been "exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine. As a result, many UK farmers are suffering significant losses, and some, tragically, have been forced to close their farms.”