Tesco gives £6.6m to pig producers following plea

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Tesco gives £6.6m to pig producers following plea
Pigs in mudImage source, Shaun Whitmore/BBC
Image caption,
The body representing pig farmers has welcomed Tesco's additional support totalling £10m for pig producers

UK pig farmers have welcomed a decision by Tesco, their biggest customer, to pay an extra £6.6m to pork producers.

It follows a National Pig Association (NPA) urging it to "do the right thing" and pay more or risk losing its British pork supply base.

The NPA's chairman, Norfolk farmer Rob Mutimer, said the organisation was "very, very pleased" with the supermarket giant's offer.

Tesco said its support between March and August would amount to £10m.

The NPA warned four out of five pig producers could go out of business within a year unless Tesco paid more.

Tesco, whose headquarters is in Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, said it had already given the industry £3.4m since March.

Dominic Morrey, Tesco Fresh commercial director, said: "We know there is more to do, and we will be working with suppliers, farmers and the wider industry to drive more transparency and sustainability across our supply chains and support the future of the British pig industry."

Mr Mutimer, who farms at Swannington near Aylsham, said: "This is a very welcome boost for beleaguered pig farmers, who are currently facing unprecedented costs of production and need a tangible increase in the price they are being paid in order to stay in business.

"We look forward to seeing the pig price rising very soon as a result of this action, and hopefully we can begin to stem the flow of producers exiting the industry."

In its letter of last week, the NPA said other supermarkets had already confirmed additional support for farmers who were .

It said Waitrose had pledged a new £16m support package and Sainsbury's had offered £2.8m in additional short-term support.

The NPA said the east of England was the UK's largest region in terms of pork production.

PigsImage source, Shaun Whitmore/BBC
Image caption,
The NPA said the additional funding from Tesco would help ensure farmers did not exit the industry, as had been feared
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