Skip to main content


Volume 477: debated on Thursday 19 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what support his Department is providing to pig farmers and the pig industry; and what account he has taken of soya and grain prices in determining the level of such support. (211937)

The economic difficulties faced by pig producers in the last year have been driven by a number of factors, in particular the rising cost of feed ingredients. On feed, the UK has supported the Commission’s measures aimed at reducing market pressure, including the suspension for a further year of import duties on feed grains, the re-selling of the remaining intervention stocks of grain and the removal of the requirement for farmers to set-aside land for the 2008 harvest.

DEFRA has been supportive of the pig industry and we worked together to reopen markets outside the EU following the FMD outbreak in 2007. DEFRA also provided, after that outbreak, a £12.5 million aid package to the livestock farming sector, including £2 million to promote the marketing of pork and other red meat.

However, the long-term sustainability of the pig sector will depend on its ability to compete successfully in the market place, with performance, quality and welfare standards as essential factors. The price for pig products is a matter for the market to decide, as long as competition law is being complied with.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with Scottish counterparts on assisting pig farmers with input costs; and if he will make a statement. (211938)

My Department is in regular contact with Scottish counterparts on issues affecting the pig and livestock issues, including UK support for Commission measures to ameliorate market pressures on the cost of feed.