Thursday, 28 October 2021
AHDB’s Pork Board has agreed to fund a dedicated off-farm cull and render service as a backstop for producers who are struggling with a backlog of pigs on-farm.
We are in the process of setting up the plant which will have capacity for 2,000–3,000 mature pigs per week.
This latest announcement forms part of a package of measures we are helping to deliver alongside the Government and industry to address the challenges facing the pork sector, which includes a shortage of skilled butchers in abattoirs.
Setting up the facility will cost up to £20,000, which will be funded by the pork levy. We will also cover any idle time staff costs during its operation, which is likely to run for between 8–12 weeks.
The plant will make an operating charge per pig to the producer – a commercial arrangement between the two parties. The facility will be opened as soon as possible.
AHDB Divisional Director of Engagement, Will Jackson, said: “The provision of a cull and render service in an established abattoir will offer farmers who cannot sell their pigs, at any price, for processing into the food chain a way to minimise the impact of the situation.
“The challenges being placed on the pork sector right now are extremely concerning and AHDB is working with the Government and industry to address the issues and try to find solutions that help our levy payers.”
As well as the cull and render service, we also recently announced a one-month levy holiday in November 2021, to help ease the financial burden faced by levy payers.
We have also been providing independent evidence to the Government setting out the seriousness of the situation and its insight into the crisis helped open the door to approval for visas to 800 trained butchers and abattoir staff to alleviate the skills shortage.