East Anglia’s top pig producers recognised

An urgently-needed increase in the price that shoppers pay for pork would make a major difference to sustaining the home industry, East Anglian producers have been told.

Jim Burling, pig production manager of the East Anglian Pig Co, was speaking at the firm's second annual awards evening at Diss.

A rise of about five per cent in the retail selling price was essential to meet record high feed prices and to stop producers slaughtering their breeding stock, he said.

Mr Burling told almost 100 pig finishers at the Pfizer Animal Health- sponsored event that the industry had become more professional, raising health and nutritional standards and responding to demand for higher-welfare products. All his company's pigs were reared on straw to meet such standards.

But, he said, there was extra cost in adopting these systems and he was particularly concerned about the availability of straw, with the drought across eastern England certain to hit supplies at harvest time.


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Based on 2010 performance

Under 1,300 places – William Crosse, of Baldock, Hertfordshire, who finishes batches of 500 pigs alongside arable and sheep.

Best over 1,300 places – Neville Green, of Tibenham, who has supplied Cranswick's Watton factory for more than 30 years.

Most improved unit – Dean Charlton, of Fakenham, who made the greatest rise up the 'league table' of farms.

Tidiest and best presented unit – John Durrant, of Stowmarket.

Oakwood Veterinary Group healthiest unit award – Tim Francis, Halesworth, described as 'a high-quality unit with excellent records and systems that minimise medicine use'.