Great Britain’s National Pork Association is sounding the alarm that, next year, there may be a shortage of bacon. Actually, they’re warning that there will be a shortage of all pork. The NPA has called upon British supermarkets to pay pig farmers a fair price to help prevent shortages of pigs and a steep rise in prices.
According to the NPA:
New data shows the European Union pig herd is declining at a significant rate, and this is a trend that is being mirrored around the world. Pig farmers have been plunged into loss by high pig-feed costs, caused by the global failure of maize and soya harvests.
All main European pig-producing countries report shrinking sow herds. Falling numbers in the 12 months to June 2012 have been reported by Denmark (-2.3), Germany (-1.3), Ireland (-6.6), Spain (-2.8), France (-3.2), Italy (-13), Hungary (-5), the Netherlands (-3.6), Austria (-2.8), Poland (-9.6) and Sweden (-7.2).
Much of the United States’ prime crop land has been hard hit by drought of late.
NPA chairman Richard Longthorp stated that “British supermarkets know they have to raise the price they pay Britain’s pig farmers or risk empty spaces on their shelves next year. But competition is so fierce in the high street at present, each is waiting for the other to move first.”
The NPA has launched the Save Our Bacon campaign. They are asking shoppers to “make a point of selecting pork and bacon with the British independent Red Tractor logo, as an increase in demand for British product now may help persuade supermarkets to act before it is too late.”
Sainsbury has already increased the price they are paying to a few of their pig farmers, but the NPA states that “the major supermarkets need to do much more, if they want to protect their customers from shortages and high prices next year.”
The NPA also noted that:
British Pig Executive Mick Sloyan warned a private meeting of British and mainland Europe retailers at a Brussels summit yesterday that a fall of only 2 percent in slaughterings next year will cause prices to rise by 10 percent.
NPA believes slaughterings could fall by as much as 10 percent in the second half of next year, which indicates a doubling of the price of European pork and pork products. “If supermarkets act now, they can prevent this happening,” says NPA.
This shortage will undoubtably go global as feed supplies dwindle and costs increase across most of the world.