Tesco is going to transfer সহায় 6.6m in additional assistance to pig farmers, bringing the total to m 10m, following warnings that several producers may go out of business.
The UK’s largest supermarket says farmers will receive 6 6.6 million over £ 3.4 million transferred from March under a “fast and improved payment plan” until August, after being criticized for not paying a “fair price” for its pork.
Tesco is the latest supermarket to pay farmers extra cash in the face of rising food costs caused by the war in Ukraine, following last year’s export crisis combined with the Kovid disruption and the Brexit-related slaughterhouse labor shortage.
A recent industry survey found that four out of five producers will leave the business within a year unless their financial situation improves.
The National Pig Association (NPA) has written to Tesco for help as it says the industry has faced an unprecedented crisis in the last 18 months. It says the price push due to the war has turned a “very challenging financial situation into a crisis.”
The NPA says farmers are losing more than 50 50 per pig because of the huge gap between the 100,000 pigs that should have been slaughtered, the cost of production and the price that retailers were willing to pay.
It called on Tesco to act after rivals including Waitrose, Co-op, Marks & Spencer, Aldi, Asda, Morrison and Sensbury agreed to pay more for British pork through their dedicated supply chain.
Waitrose, less than half the size of Tesco, offered 16 16 million, while Sensbury offered 7.8 million.
NPA Chair Rob Mutimer said: “We are delighted that Tesco has responded to our letter to CEO Ken Murphy with some much-needed additional financial support for the pig industry.
“This is a very welcome incentive for distressed pig farmers, who are currently facing unprecedented production costs and need a real increase in the price they are being paid to stay in business.
“We look forward to seeing the price of pork rise soon as a result of this activity and hopefully we can start to stop the flow of producers out of the industry.”
Tesco said it had taken an additional 32,000 pigs since January and planned to take another 22,000 in the coming months as it increased the range of British pork products by 30%.
It will add five new British pork options to the store and launch an “I Love British” brand for bacon and ham, from which a farmer will receive an extra 5p a pack.
Dominic Moore, Commercial Director of Tesco Fresh Food, said: “We fully acknowledge the seriousness of the situation facing pig farmers in the UK and are working closely with our suppliers to find out what else we can do to support this sector.”
But he added: “We know there is much more to do, and we will work with suppliers, farmers and the wider industry to drive greater transparency and sustainability across our supply chain and to support the future of the British pork industry.”
Jim Brisby of KranSwick, Tesco’s pork supplier, said: “We are working with Tesco to find a more sustainable way to pay our farmers for pork, and we are pleased with the progress we have made in increasing the availability of British pork. Tesco continues to work with the team to reach buyers, and to significantly increase these volumes over the next few months. Today’s announcement of increased prices for British farmers will also help support Tesco-supplying farmers. “