International supermarket group Tesco’s planned Sustainable Farming Group for Pigs could mark a watershed in the fortunes of the British pig industry, according to the National Pig Association.

“British pig keepers have been plagued by short-term supply chains and volatile costs, which have prevented them from investing for the future,” said general manager Dr. Zoe Davies. “The new direct supply contracts announced by Tesco recently should be available for around 140 pig keepers early next year, and in the NPA’s view could help transform British pig production.”

Advertisement

The National Pig Association has worked closely with Tesco on the new supply contracts and sees them introducing an unprecedented level of transparency in the supply chain for high-welfare, independently audited British pork. It has commended the supermarket group’s vision in introducing radical new supply policies at a challenging time in the British High Street, and plans to continue working closely with the nation’s largest retailer on the initiative.

The new whole-carcass supply group will be administered by a farmer-led committee which will review prices every month, taking into account the impact of feed costs on cost of production. “This transparency and the direct linking of pig price to increasingly volatile costs should bring benefits to the whole chain through fairer sharing of risk and reward,” said association Chairman Richard Longthorp.