Cheap food era to end, says farm chief

The era of cheap food must come to an end.That was the stark warning from farmers' leader Peter Kendall yesterday amid growing concern that rising animal feed costs will push up the price of pork, bacon, poultry and eggs on store shelves.

The era of cheap meat and eggs must come to an end. That was the stark warning from farmers' leader Peter Kendall yesterday amid growing concern that rising animal feed costs will push up the price of pork, bacon, poultry and eggs on store shelves.

Mr Kendall, president of the National Farmers' Union, said a 40pc rise in feed costs meant that unless farmers got a higher price for eggs, pork and bacon, producers would go out of business.

Importing food from abroad was not a long-term solution to farmers' plight, he warned.

Today, pig farmers are due to launch a national campaign to seek consumer support.


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Stewart Houston, of the National Pig Association, said the industry was losing £3.9m a week or £196m a year as feed costs have doubled in the last year.

“Pig farmers receive no subsidies and their businesses are well run,” he said.

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“We are sure consumers agree it's worth a few pence more to help secure the future of British pig farming and uphold British animal welfare standards, which are the highest in the world,” he added.

The campaign starts with newspaper advertisements seeking higher pay-ments by supermarkets and caterers of 34p kg per pig to a breakeven price from the current 109p kg.

Feed prices are already set to rise another 30pc to 40pc this autumn, as reported in yesterday's EDP. Farmers want a rise of 7-17p per retail pack for pork and 12-15p per kilo for poultry or dozen eggs on the “farm gate” price, some of which would be passed on to consumers.

A website and online petition - www.britishpigsareworthit.com - is launched today.

Supplies of Cox's Orange Pippin will be in Sainsbury's stores today - a fortnight earlier than usual.

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