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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

U.K. Hog Farmers Face Supply Chain Disruption and Euthanasia


Following the relaxation of COVID restrictions, many thousands of workers in hog, poultry and beef plants in the U.K. are returning to their native countries in Eastern Europe. Over the past two decades, the U.K. red meat industry has become dependent on guest workers in much the same way as in the U.S. Currently there are approximately 150,000 hogs in the U.K. that are ready for slaughter without available facilities and may be subject to euthanasia paralleling the U.S. COVID experience in March through May of 2020.


In the short term, processing plants are offering bonus incentives and increased wage rates to retain workers and to attract local residents. As a longer term approach processors are evaluating installation of automation and robotics as in plants in Denmark.  This unfortunately will require time and commitment of capital.  In the interim, farmers are feeding retained hogs resulting in the evaporation of potential margins.  It is anticipated that the plight of U.K. hog farmers will be to the benefit of producers in the E.U. who operate with lower costs of production and can compete with U.K. pork despite the additional transport cost.

Copyright © 2021 Simon M. Shane