Co-op invests £19m to strengthen support for pig farmers

The Co-op has pledged £19 million to support pig farmers and calls for other leading supermarkets to go the whole ‘hog’ and support the UK pig farming sector.

The symbol group retailer has a market share of 6%, but its support outstrips any of the Big 4 retailers combined – who have a combined market share of almost 70%.

Earlier this year, Big 4 grocers Tesco and Sainsbury’s unveiled £10 million and £2.8 million care packages to support pig farmers. Waitrose invested £16 million.

Co-op removed imported bacon from its stores five years ago to move to 100% British pork.

READ MORE: Irish pig sector calls for ‘urgent’ government action following £50m loss

“Some of the support for the sector is too little but it’s not too late for supermarkets to do their bit to help more British farmers.

“Switching to UK produced pork is the strongest commitment retailers can give to UK farmers at a time when the sector is experiencing unprecedented spiralling costs.

“We know that this is an incredibly challenging time for UK pig farmers and that we have an important part to play in supporting the industry.”

National Pig Association chairman Rob Mutimer added: “Most of the big retailers have now acted in some way to inject more money into the supply chain.

“But while the price increases are very welcome, with wheat having reached £350/tonne this week, they are still not matching soaring input costs.

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