Farmers deserve more from George Eustice as pig sector suffers - The Yorkshire Post says

The past year has been ‘‘horrific’’, says Zoe Davies, chief executive of the National Pig Association.

This is no hyperbole in a sector that some fear will be wiped out by a costs crisis within months, as reported in today’s Country Week supplement.

Government is intervening with a review into the pig sector in the hope that farmers, most of whom operate as small and independent businesses, can get a better deal.

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

Picture: Gary Longbottom.Picture: Gary Longbottom.
Picture: Gary Longbottom.

The move follows one of the industry’s most painful periods for years, when upwards of 35,000 pigs had to be culled amid labour shortages – exacerbated by rising fuel and fertiliser costs – and the sector experienced the closure of numerous independent farms unable to stay in business.

Ministers are right to seek solutions for all concerned, not least the producers dealing with increased input costs but little profit.

The industry at large, though, knows that issues with pig farming are the tip of the iceberg in agriculture.

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Where is Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice? His junior colleague Victoria Prentis has been vocal but her boss is conspicuous only by his absence.

If the Princess Royal was able to attend the Great Yorkshire Show last week, why wasn’t he, during what is a time of unprecedented pressure and heightened anxiety in farming?

Once again, farming is not getting the respect it deserves.