UFU vents pork producer frustrations to Red Tractor

Tuesday, 28 May, 2019

Ulster Farmers’ Union pork and bacon chairman, Glenn Cuddy, says pig producers are feeling frustrated as a result of a number of issues surrounding the Red Tractor farm quality assurance scheme. “While we recognise the benefits of the scheme, the current EU/UK price differential, inspection regime, and lack of communication are causing problems for local producers,” said Mr Cuddy.

The newly appointed pigs chairman used a meeting with Red Tractor representatives to vent producer frustrations. In particular, the fact that European producers have seen an average increase of over 30p/kg price since February that has not been mirrored in price increases for British quality assured pork. “Red Tractor outlined a number of external factors impacting on pig prices, including Brexit and the impact of African swine fever in China. However, market signals are positive and producers feel that they are being treated unfairly by pork processors,” said Mr Cuddy.

The UFU says it is encouraging that the farm quality assurance body has committed to engaging with UFU around inspection concerns. Mr Cuddy said, “The UFU has been asked to join Red Tractor’s Technical Advisor Committee to help improve the flow of information to the NI pork industry. Red Tractor has also committed to working with the UFU to organise a local ‘train the trainer’ event for NI field staff and technical advisors. This will help to raise awareness of farmer concerns around non-conformance issues and the preventative actions that can be taken.”