In support of pig producers in Scotland and England, the two meat levy bodies have today announced a pork levy holiday during November 2021.
Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board took the decision in response to the continued build-up of pigs on farm, falling prices and high production costs.
The recommendation has been agreed by Ministers in both countries, with the levy holiday across Scotland and England amounting to just under £1 million.
It follows ongoing discussions between the two meat levy bodies, Government and industry to identify ways to help pig producers during these difficult times.
QMS Chair, Kate Rowell, says it’s important to support producers as they face exceptional difficulties. She added: “After discussions between the QMS Board and AHDB the decision was made to introduce a levy holiday in November for pig producers.
“The pig sector plays an important role in Scotland’s agricultural industry and this relief will help support producers as they work tirelessly to look after the animals in their care.”
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “As they move into one of their busiest months of the year, the levy holiday in Scotland and England provided by QMS and AHDB will be a welcome measure to those in the pig sector, especially in light of the issues they have been facing over the past month. This helpful move will not solve any of the issues but will be of some assistance to the sector.”
Chairman of the AHDB Pork Board Mike Sheldon said: “These challenges, in particular a shortage of skilled workers, come on top of pressure on margins largely due to rising feed costs. These issues are extremely concerning and therefore require industry-wide action to prevent the situation deteriorating into an animal welfare issue.
“AHDB is already undertaking work to help the sector, including providing independent evidence to Government setting out the seriousness of the situation, and looking at how together we can support meat processors to ease the supply of labour.
“As part of its wider approach, the AHDB Pork Board has agreed to a one-month levy holiday to help ease the burden of the financial pressures faced by levy-payers.”