Opportunities for EU pork as Trump trade war hots up

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The Trump inspired trade war between the US and China could offer opportunities for EU pork  producers according to Iain McDonald, economics analyst with Quality Meat Scotland.

Mr McDonald said it was an example of the ’significant trade volatility which can affect agricultural commodities when measures are aimed at unrelated industries’.

The recent trade conflict began in February with US President Donald Trump imposing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium products to the US.

China failed to gain an exemption to these new tariffs and immediately retaliated by increasing tariffs on 128 US products with an annual value similar to its steel and aluminium trade.

“Since April 2, 120 of these products have faced an additional 15 per cent tariff on top of the current tariff, while eight products are now subject to an additional 25 per cent tariff,” said Mr McDonald.

“US pork falls under the latter category, meaning Chinese importers now have to pay a 37 per cent or 45 per cent tariff on top of the price charged by the US exporter, compared to 12 per cent or 20 per cent previously.”

To meet the new tariffs US producers would need to drop prices by 18 per cent if they were to remain competitive.

Volumes delivered in early 2018 suggest that over a year, this could work out at a revenue reduction of around $50m or around $2 per pig processed. China is the fifth biggest export market for US pork.

“This context may help explain the 8 per cent fall in US farmgate prices in the week that the tariff increase came into force,” added Mr McDonald.

“If the US finds it harder to sell pork into China as a result of the additional tariff, EU exporters will be well-placed to compete. Whereas the US had increased its exports to China in early 2018 by 10 per cent, EU shipments were down 10 per cent.

“If EU exporters can regain market share in China from the US, this would be likely to place some upwards pressure on farmgate pig prices across the EU.

“Given the EU Commission has forecast EU pigmeat production will be 0.8 per cent above 2017 levels and 2.6 per cent ahead of its 2013-17 average, this trade dispute could come at a good time for EU pig producers.”

Impact on the market

A second round of Chinese retaliatory tariffs on imports from the US, up to a value of about $50bn has now been announced.

Beef is included but no date of implementation has been set.

Based on a similar calculation to that for pork, if these tariffs were to enter force, it could result in US beef exporters foregoing as much as $12m in revenue to remain competitive in the Chinese market.

However, more positively for the US beef industry, Japan’s special safeguard clause which had raised the tariff on imported frozen beef from countries lacking a trade partnership with Japan has come to an end.

After Japanese imports exceeded a threshold level in the first quarter of 2018, the tariff on frozen beef was automatically increased to 50 per cent in August 2017. At the beginning of April, it was lowered back to 38.5 per cent.

BVA’s seven farm assurance principles

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To assist members of the veterinary profession and public to better understand farm assurance schemes on the basis of animal health and welfare, the British Veterinary Association has developed a farm assurance schemes policy position, setting out seven guiding principles.

Farm assurance schemes enable customers to make sustainable and ethically informed choices about the food they buy, and allow producers to demonstrate their food products have met independently certified standards at each stage of the supply chain from farm to fork. The breadth of UK farm assurance schemes is testament to the UK’s leadership in animal health and welfare standards. However, this variety could create a confusing customer experience when food shoppers are navigating both ethical and budgetary considerations as well as the shopping aisles.

BVA’s policy position has been developed as part of BVA’s Animal Welfare Strategy and sets out that the veterinary profession has a key role to play in helping inform the public about the animal health and welfare credentials of animal derived food. Based on the five welfare needs set out in the UK Animal Welfare Acts and highlighting the importance of welfare outcomes, through the new position’s seven principles BVA is encouraging consumers to consider schemes that include:

  1. Lifetime assurance – from farm to fork, ensuring that health and welfare is assured throughout the animal’s life from birth to slaughter.
  2. Welfare at slaughter – animals should be stunned before slaughter or, if permitted, meat or fish products are labelled as such. Animals should be transported the least possible distance to slaughter.
  3. Veterinary involvement – schemes that are underpinned by veterinary expertise and committed to continuous improvement of animal management and husbandry practices. These are crucial to the value of schemes in terms of animal health and welfare, public confidence and producer/farmer buy-in.
  4. Behavioural opportunity – schemes that strike the right balance between allowing animals to perform important behaviours and ensuring good health outcomes.
  5. Responsible use of antimicrobials and other medicines – consider whether schemes support responsible use of antimicrobials and what animal health and welfare requirements, such as disease prevention strategies, improved animal husbandry and management, are incorporated to help prevent the need for prescribing.
  6. Animal health and biosecurity – schemes that can evidence effective biosecurity plans, developed in collaboration with a veterinary surgeon, to prevent the spread of disease amongst animals, humans and their surroundings.
  7. Sustainability and the environment – incorporate environmental stewardship, such as the reduction of carbon emissions and the conservation of biodiversity.

We are recruiting for a Trainee Butcher

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As a Trainee Pork Butcher working at Waterall’s Moor Market Shop, you’ll be learning one of the oldest crafts in the world. We provide an exceptional level of training and support, to give you all the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for your rewarding career in the butchery/Deli field.

We offer the opportunity for a permanent full-time role upon successful completion of the training.

We have a proud heritage which is reflected in the superior quality of our produce, and our investment in people.

Responsibilities and Duties

What you’ll be doing

You’ll be trained in a range of techniques to enable you to work on our busy shop and meet our consistently high standards.

Daily duties will include:

  • Preparing meat and other goods for display
  • Learning about the supply chain, processing, retail, and all elements of Food Hygiene and Health & Safety requirements
  • Developing customer service skills
  • Learning all the necessary knife skills to produce quality cuts
  • Hours will be spread over 5 days per week with an early 6am start

Qualifications and Skills

What we’re looking for

You’ll be enthusiastic about butchery with a desire to learn in addition to this we’re looking for:

  • A natural drive to deliver results in a fast paced environment
  • Dexterous with good hand-eye coordination
  • Able to follow instructions and procedures accurately and consistently at all times
  • Work well in a team and surrounding teams
  • Possess good Numeracy skills and ability to be punctual


What we can offer you

  • Pay is at the national minimum wage appropriate to age
  • Total on the job training and support
  • 28 days holiday (inc Bank Holidays)

If you’re looking for a highly skilled profession with excellent long-term career benefits, then don’t hesitate. Apply by dropping your CV down at our Moor Market shop (Stall 26/27).

Job Type: Trainee

Top Pork Books To Get Your Mouth Watering

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If you or someone you know loves pork, we’re sure you do otherwise why would you be reading this?! Then you need to get your hands on one of these pork books… Read more

Pig Prices Continue Recent Upward Surge

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Pig prices have continued their recent surge with the SPP up by 1.43p to 153.13p, weekly contribution prices are also tending to improve and spot pigs remain in very short supply and it is quite hard to sell an empty pen, but where there were a few spare pigs about prices were in the 160p/kg region and more in places, writes Peter Crichton in his “Traffic Lights” commentary for 7 April 2017.

This week saw another significant increase in German producer prices rising from 1.54 Euro to 1.79 Euro over the past six weeks underlining how short pigs are compared with last year’s glut, which brought many producers to their knees. Read more

Bacon Performing Well; Roasts Continue to Decline

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During the 12 weeks ended 18 June, the primary pork volume sales decreased by 3 per cent on a year-on-year basis, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel. However, a 5 per cent increase in the average retail price meant that overall spend was up by 2 per cent, writes Rebecca Oborne, AHDB Analyst. Read more

UK Not Ready for Brexit’s Impact on Food, Report Warns

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The UK is unprepared for the most complex ever change to its food system, which will be required before Brexit, according to a new briefing paper published by SPRU, the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex. Read more

Bacon Myths, Busted: Contrary to popular belief, it’s not that bad for you

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Bacon is a rather personal taste, and people get really defensive about it—whether someone likes it extra crispy or thick and fatty says a lot about who they are as a person.

But regardless of preferences, when the World Health Organisation linked the consumption of processed meats to cancer in 2015, people freaked out and starting spewing a lot of nonsense about the beloved breakfast meat. Those of us who still cling to our adoration, therefore, are plagued by misinformation and wishful thinking—so we did some digging for you to divulge the truths. Here are five bacon myths, busted. Read more

Demand for UK Pigs Continues to Reflect Hot Weather

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Demand for UK pigs continues to reflect the weather (hot) and, although the SPP only moved up by 0.15p to stand at 162.43p, spot prices have continued to reach for the sky with bids generally between 172p/kg and 175p/kg according to spec, with no shortage of takers, writes Peter Crichton in his latest “Traffic Light” commentary.

Most, but not all, weekly contribution prices have stayed at similar levels, although the odd penny increase was available here and there, and the overall range is between 160p/kg and 170p/kg. Read more

Is pork good for you? It’s complicated

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How does pork fit into a healthy diet? For the answer, more than reading between the lines, you need to read between the slogans.

On one side there is “Eat More Bacon,” a cheer embraced by those rebelling against mainstream health advice who have either bought into an alternative all-you-can-eat approach to saturated fat or who want to snub wellness culture altogether. Emblazoned on T-shirts, throw pillows, bumper stickers and coffee mugs, the phrase has become more than a saying — it is a way of life. Read more

Quality Pork Butchers in Sheffield

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