Delhaize Belgium is set to launch an additional support programme for its pig farmers in a bid to ease pressure on the group resulting from current market conditions.
The retailer hopes that other retail chains and buyers of Belgian pork will follow suit.
The Belgian pig farming sector is under enormous pressure, mainly due to the situation in the international pig market, the retailer noted.
Due to external circumstances, there is lower demand from abroad, resulting in a decline in Belgian exports and oversupply of pork in the local market.
The phenomenon has impacted the selling price of pork, which has touched historic lows. Compounded with rising feed prices, the earnings of pig farmers from pork has declined further.
As with previous crises in this sector, Delhaize has decided to take responsibility and will launch a support programme for 85 Belgian pig farmers supplying the retailer.
More concretely, Delhaize will pay an additional crisis contribution per pig to Belgian pig farmers from 1 October until at least 1 January 2022, when the situation will be re-evaluated.
The decision is part of the supermarket chain's strategy to consciously choose locally produced fresh products, pork, and long-term cooperation with Belgian pig farmers.
Currently, 96% of the pork sold by Delhaize is of Belgian origin.
A sustainable future for Belgian pig farming is of vital importance, in the first place for the pig breeder, and also for the Delhaize customer who counts on the taste and quality of Belgian pork, the retailer noted.