Government launches review into pig farming crisis at the Great Yorkshire Show

A consultation has been launched at The Great Yorkshire Show which will see the government undertake a review of the pig farming sector which is currently in crisis as many farmers are being forced out of business.

Victoria Prentis, MP for Banbury and Minister for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was at the show yesterday and met with the National Farmers Union, the Country Land Association, the Future Farmers of Yorkshire Association and tenant farmers to discuss issues within pig farming and ways forward.

The consultation follows challenges experienced by the sector over the last 12 to 18 months due to global pressures including rising costs and labour shortages, which have raised questions about the functioning of the supply chain.

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    Show Director Charles Mills chats to Victoria Prentis, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs during her visit on the fourth day of the show. Picture Tony Johnson

    It will run until October 7 and invites views from pig farmers, abattoirs, processors, retailers, marketing groups and stakeholders involved in the pig supply chain across the country.

    Farming Minister Ms Prentis said: “Recent months have been very difficult for pig farmers due to a range of pressures including rising costs and global labour shortages. We have engaged closely with the sector to support them in considerably reducing the backlog of pigs on farms and I continue to work with producers and retailers to support the sector.

    “I am a firm believer in ‘Buy British’ and supporting our domestic pig producers, and a fair and transparent supply chain is paramount. I hope the industry engages fully with this consultation so that we can help to address the challenges that they are facing.”

    In addition to launching the review, Ms Prentis was invited the President’s Lunch at day four of this year’s Great Yorkshire Show and told The Yorkshire Post how much she loves the region’s agricultural show calendar after having spent time as a child at Muker and Kilnsey shows as a youngster.

    “Agricultural shows are a really good way for our industry, that tends to work in solidarity, to get together and for farmers to talk to each other”, she said.

    “It is really good that these show the public, that don’t farm and don’t necessarily know where food comes from, to learn more about it and for farmers to interact directly.

    “The Great Yorkshire Show is a really fun experience, the quality of the livestock is second to none. I have watched the cattle parade and seen the best Hereford bull I have ever seen in my life.”

    Once responses have been analysed, findings and proposed actions will be published.