Brexit and vegan activism 'challenges' for pig industry in 2018

The pig industry wants to promote British pork in 2018
The pig industry wants to promote British pork in 2018

The new year will bring many opportunities, chief among them being the challenge of negotiating a good Brexit deal for the pig industry and battling vegan activism.

In its New Year message, the National Pig Association (NPA) said it will also be working closely with all retailers to champion British pork and the Red Tractor, which helps promote home-grown produce.

This will also include a spring banner campaign to reinforce the positive qualities of British pork.

It will also be developing a comprehensive support network to help producers targeted by animal rights and vegan activists.

Vegan campaigning has risen in recent years, and the pig and dairy industry has in particular been a target of it.

This stirred on the the National Farmers' Union (NFU) dairy team to create a ‘Proud of Dairy’ campaign, which helps promote the health benefits of dairy and the high-standards of animal welfare.

For the pig industry, vegan campaign groups have in the past entered pig farms and slaughterhouses to 'film covertly at night', with some farmers feeling 'very threatened'.

Environmental charges

Other topics touched upon in the NPA's message include fighting proposed increases to environmental charges.

NPA chairman Richard Lister said: “Proposals on charging increases by the EA will be strongly challenged on behalf of those producers potentially affected as this presents yet another barrier to competitiveness.

Mr Lister concluded: “Without doubt 2018 will present many and varied challenges, but I am confident the NPA team will continue to deliver to the highest standards.”

The National Farmers' Union, the Farmers' Union of Wales and the Tenant Farmers' Association have also sent out New Year messages.