By Scottish Pig Producers managing director, Andy McGowan

2021 was a shocking year for the Scottish pig sector as Covid-19, export obstacles and a shortage of butchers left pigs sitting on farms far too long, consuming ever more expensive feed – so we’ll be glad to see the back of it!

My first wish for 2022 is that our customers lift throughputs to clear the backlog of pigs promptly, easing the pig welfare challenges and providing mental respite to producers. Secondly, pork prices need to rise so that all parts of the supply chain can have a sustainable business – it is the cheapest protein by far making it impossible to properly invest in the world-leading production systems that Scottish consumers rightly expect.

Finally, UK Government needs to stop delaying starting import controls on products of animal origin, which make European imports 7% more competitive and are a blatant breach of WTO rules by discriminating against non-EU imports (readers outside Europe may want to wish to draw that to the attention of their own governments). ASF is raging across Europe yet we do not even ask a vet to certify that imported pork is not from within a control zone. Westminster’s’ grotesquely cynical stance is a direct threat to the survival of the Scottish pig industry.