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Gove gets the message about carcase balance

20th Sep 2018 / By Alistair Driver

Defra Secretary Michael Gove has got the message about carcase balance when it comes to future trading arrangements for the pork sector.

NFU roundtable eventThis became clear when the NPA, alongside other UK farming organisations, met Mr Gove at a roundtable event hosted by the NFU on the day the Agriculture Bill was presented to Parliament.

Mr Gove outlined the contents and aims of the Bill, insisting it is designed to build profitability back into farming and food production, in the face of concerns among industry leaders that it does not put enough emphasis on food production.

He reiterated his desire for the Government to do more through public procurement to support ‘great’ British food and also spoke about need for further carcase balance in pork, a key issue as our future trading arrangements are mapped out. 

Mr Gove also discussed the measures outlined in the Bill to address unfairness in the supply chain, adding that Government will be able to demand production and costings data from processors and retailers if so required. He said it was about ensuring a fairer supply chain.

NPA senior policy advisor Ed Barker (second left in the pic), who attended the meeting, said it was gratifying to hear that the Secretary of State has got the message about carcase balance.

“It is this two-way trade that underpins much of what we do as producers of pigmeat. If we suddenly face extra costs and barriers to this trade, pig production will become less economical – and less efficient - as it will become harder to find a market for all of the pig. Mr Gove has got it. Now we need to ensure this is understood by other Cabinet Colleagues as well.

“It was also interesting to hear him talking about the importance of British food in the context of the Bill. That was welcome but the feeling around the room was that we would like to have seen more concrete evidence of that in the document.

"It is important to remember that we still have a number of years before these policies truly start to reveal themselves. This gives the NPA a big opportunity to help present those ideas to Government, and ensure we have an agricultural policy that suits our pig sector.”