Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Who are the real villans - sorting out the porkers

This from the Dominion Post this morning:

Consumers angry at the way pigs are farmed can force changes to the industry but they had better be prepared to pay more for their pork.
Alan Pearson, owner of Harringtons Small Goods, said many consumers did not put their money where their mouths were when they bought their meat.
"If giving animals a more natural way of life is really important to people, then they need to be prepared to pay for it and not just pay lip service.
"There is no doubt that farmers are commercial they respond to the market. If the market turns around, the industry will change."
Mr Pearson, who also runs an agri-business consultancy and exports free-range pork to Singapore, said free-range could cost more than $3 a kilogram more than pork raised in a more intensive operation.
Raising free-range pigs was more expensive because of several factors, including higher piglet mortality rates from exposure to the elements.
"There is absolutely no doubt that free-range pork is a wonderful product but it's a lot more costly to produce.
"The price resistance is still a factor. [Consumers] get to the supermarket and they buy the cheapest bacon they can find."
He said most farmers were responsible and put the welfare of their animals ahead of profit.
"Farmers are human beings, they like to do the best job they can. Most farmers have an empathy with animals, or they wouldn't be farming."
Hear hear!
And so say all of us...