UK retailers and food service companies need to take a strategic approach to their supplies and pay a fair price to producers to reflect current costs, said British Pig Executive Director Mick Sloyan, who has called the next few months crucial for UK pig producers.

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According to Sloyan, who wrote on the topic in the BPEX Pig Yearbook 2011, producers have lived through the biggest contrast in fortunes and emotions over the past year. What started as “reasonable profitability” in 2009 and the first part of 2010 had turned into major losses at the start of 2011, following steep increases in feed prices and aggressive price promotions by retailers which drove pig prices down, said Sloyan. “The pig price has started to move upwards here in and in Europe now, but feed prices look set to stay at historically high levels and the next few months will be crucial.”