Contracts between producers and processors in the pig sector are to be regulated by the UK government.

Farming Minister Mark Spencer said the sector has faced “unprecedented challenges” over the last year including rising costs and labour shortages.

“The regulations set to be introduced will ensure fairness and transparency across the supply chain, from pig to pork to plate, to help the sector to thrive in the future,” the Conservative MP said.

As well as regulation on written contracts, there are to be new measures to collect and share more supply chain data, such as wholesale prices and national slaughter numbers.

The announcement follows a UK-wide public consultation which looked at the nature of the relationships across the pig supply chain.

DAERA has said it will work with authorities in Britain “to ensure the legislation works for the whole of the UK pig sector and takes account of the views of any incoming NI Ministers”.