Eilidh Whiteford


Whiteford Urges Minister to Ensure Future for Pig Industry

Monday, 10 December 2012

Banff & Buchan MP and SNP Westminster spokesperson on Agriculture Dr Eilidh Whiteford has urged DEFRA to ensure a future for the pig industry.

The MP raised the matter of the supply chain, and recent announcements by Vion, during DEFRA Question Time in the House of Commons on Thursday.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“The pressures facing our farmers and producers are a concern, particularly in the pig sector.  With the recent announcement by Vion that they are putting their Scottish and UK operations up for sale, this has added to the uncertainty.

“However, I do believe that the pig sector can have a bright future.  It produces a quality product using the highest animal welfare standards which are well above most of our European competitors and this is increasingly being recognised by the consumer.”

Transcript of the exchange between Eilidh Whiteford MP and the Minister of State at DEFRA last Thursday:

Dr Eilidh Whiteford (Banff and Buchan) (SNP): The supply chain practices affecting our dairy industry affect other livestock producers, perhaps none more so than our pig producers, which are close to the Minister’s heart. Pigs are being sold well below the cost of production. Given VION’s announcements last week, what will the Minister do to ensure a future for the pig industry?

David Heath (Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs): The hon. Lady is absolutely right to say that I am interested in the pig sector, having bred pigs myself. She will know that we cannot disguise the cyclical nature of the pig industry. Having said that, I am concerned about the current position, but there are signs of progress. Some supermarkets are now prepared to share risk in the pigmeat sector, which I want to encourage.

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