Cameron, along with Home Secretary Theresa May, pledged support to the National Pig Association’s (NPA’s) ‘Save Our Bacon’ campaign. Cameron said: “I am delighted to be able to support the Save Our Bacon campaign. I am keenly aware of the problems currently affecting pig producers, largely because of the increase in grain prices over the last few months.
“I welcome the chance to encourage people to support and buy the high-quality and high-welfare British pork products, which are endorsed with the Red Tractor logo.”
Currently the NPA and British pig farmers are urging shoppers to save British bacon for future generations by buying British. Through purchasing pork with the Red Tractor label, the NPA said shoppers will know the meat is truly British and will have been reared to higher-welfare standards, unlike many foreign pigs.
In her message of support, May praised British pig farmers and said they had a right to be proud of the high-quality and high-welfare pork products they produced. She said: “Ministers welcome the chance to encourage people to support these standards and buy pig products endorsed with the Red Tractor logo.”
Much of the problem has been caused by the global crop harvest failure, which has caused the cost of pig feed to rise. Feed wheat, which the NPA said is a key ingredient of pig feed, has increased by more than 30% since the start of the year and the price of soya has risen by 65%.
Since 65% of the cost of raising a pig comes from feed, pig farmers have been plunged into loss and it is feared this will cause production to decrease by as much as 10% by Christmas.
Chairman of the NPA Richard Longthorp said: “Pig farmers don’t have the benefit of European subsidies. We can only survive these exceptional costs if the large supermarkets choose to pay us a fair price as a matter of urgency – and for that to happen we need shoppers to make a special effort to demonstrate their support for high-welfare British bacon, sausages and pork.”
May added that although the government could not set the price paid to pig farmers, it could endorse the campaign. And while pig farmers are quitting production because they can no longer afford to feed their animals, the NPA has urged supermarkets to pay more to save our bacon.