Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

English pig industry


Report published

The Committee published ' The English pig industry ', HC 96, First Report of Session 2008-09 on Tuesday 13 January 2009.

The Government's response was published as a Special Report on Thursday 2 April (HC 391).


Terms of reference

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has decided to undertake an inquiry into the English pig industry. The British pig industry comprises some 470,000 breeding sows producing just over nine million pigs a year for the food chain. The pig industry is highly competitive and is known to be a cyclical one; however, submissions to the inquiry generally agreed that the current problems facing the industry were beyond the usual peaks and troughs of the "pig cycle".

The Committee will consider in particular the following:

1. What is wrong with the pig industry in England? Are present problems more than just a cyclical imbalance between supply and demand?

2. Are domestic pig welfare standards a principal reason that English producers have problems competing with those outside the UK? Are there other reasons?

3. What could supermarkets and the hospitality industry do to alleviate the pressure on the domestic pig industry?

4. Can the Government do more to support the industry either directly or through its public procurement policies?

The Committee invited all interested parties to address these matters in writing. The deadline for submissions was Thursday 11 September 2008.


Oral evidence

Monday 27 October 2008  
British Hospitality Association; British Retail Consortium and Waitrose; The Rt Hon Jane Kennedy MP, Minister for Farming and the Environment, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Monday 13 October 2008
British Pig Executive and National Pig Association; British Meat Processors Association, Tulip and Bowes of Norfolk


Press notices

02/04/09 Government resonse published
13/01/09 Report published
18/12/08 Report to be published
20/10/08 Further evidence session announced
07/10/08 Evidence session announced
17/07/08 New inquiry