Tesco in the United Kingdom (UK) has announced a £10m package in extra funding for UK pig farmers to support them in facing "challenges related to increases in on-farm costs, including feed such as wheat and soya.”
The funding will come in the form of an “accelerated and enhanced payment plan” to Tesco pigmeat suppliers, which will get “passed to farmers as quickly as possible”.
Tesco UK suppliers will increase payments to farmers by £6.6m until August, bringing support for Tesco farmers to a total of £10m since the start of March 2022.
Tesco UK says it has been supporting the pig industry since the start of 2022 to help tackle the other major challenges the sector has faced. The supermarket chain says it stepped forward and took more pigs to help clear the backlog of animals on British farms.
Since January, the retailer says it has taken an extra 32,000 pigs and plans to take a further 22,000 in the months ahead.
Overall, the latest financial support from Tesco follows a number of initiatives designed to help its British pig farmer producers and boost the amount of British pork sold in Tesco stores.
In total, Tesco UK has increased the proportion of its pigmeat products that are produced in the UK by 30% on 2021. This involved the movement of five pigmeat product lines to British supply in recent weeks. It has also introduced an additional 15 pork promotions in store for customers since January.
The retailer is also launching an I Love British brand in its bacon range, with a ham product launching at the end of May. As part of the brand, a 5p per pack contribution will be passed onto farmers in the supply chain.
In the longer-term, Tesco UK has committed to reviewing its pigmeat pricing on a more frequent basis, providing more flexibility for farmers when market prices change. The retailer says it will also work with its UK suppliers to build a closer relationship with farmers, increase transparency in pig supply chains and ensure they are sustainable for the long-term.
Tesco fresh commercial director Dominic Morrey said: "We fully recognise the seriousness of the situation UK pig farmers are facing and have been working closely with our suppliers to understand what more we can do to support the sector.”
Tesco Ireland has not, as of yet, made any similar financial support commitments to its Irish pig producers.