Pig farmers to get higher prices from Tesco

By Rob Blair, Partner and ARA specialist

Supermarket giant Tesco is to give an extra £6.6 million in support to pork producers after criticism from the National Pig Association (NPA) that it was not paying a “fair price” for pork.

A letter to Tesco from the NPA urged the supermarket to “do the right thing” and pay more or risk losing its British pork supply. The extra cash will now take the total it pays producers to £10 million.

As the letter from the NPA states, the industry has faced an unprecedented crisis over the past 18 months, with the price shock caused by the war in Ukraine turning a “very challenging financial situation into a critical one”.

According to the industry body, there are 100,000 pigs stuck on farms that should have gone to slaughter, with farmers losing in excess of £50 a pig due to the enormous gap between the cost of production and the price that retailers were willing to pay.

Tesco is the latest supermarket to increase the price they pay for pork in the face of surging costs of feed caused by the war in Ukraine, after an export slump last year combined with Covid disruption and Brexit-related shortage of abattoir workers.

Waitrose, which is less than half the size of Tesco, has already pledged a new £16 million support package and Sainsbury’s has offered £2.8 million in additional short-term support.

Tesco has said that it has taken an extra 32,000 pigs since January and plans to increase its range of British pork products by 30 per cent, with a spokesman for the chain saying that it will be collaborating with suppliers, farmers and the wider industry to drive more transparency and sustainability across its supply chains and “support the future of the British pig industry”.

Are you concerned about farmgate prices, including the value of pork? Speak to our team today.