Two meat levy bodies, in agreement with Ministers from Scotland and England, have today (Thursday, October 14) announced a pork levy holiday for November 2021.

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) are introducing this holiday in support of English and Scottish pig producers who have faced extra challenges recently, with the build-up of pigs on farms, falling prices and high production costs.

The one-month levy holiday will amount to just under £1 million.

QMS chair Kate Rowell, said it’s important to support producers as they face ‘exceptional difficulties’, adding: “After discussions between the QMS Board and AHDB the decision was made to introduce a levy holiday in November for pig producers.

The pig sector plays an important role in Scotland’s agricultural industry and this relief will help support producers as they work tirelessly to look after the animals in their care.”

Chairman of the AHDB Pork Board, Mike Sheldon added: “These challenges, in particular a shortage of skilled workers, come on top of pressure on margins largely due to rising feed costs.

“These issues are extremely concerning and therefore require industry-wide action to prevent the situation deteriorating into an animal welfare issue.

AHDB is already undertaking work to help the sector, including providing independent evidence to government, setting out the seriousness of the situation and looking at how together, we can support meat processors to ease the supply of labour.

“As part of its wider approach, the AHDB Pork Board has agreed to a one-month levy holiday to help ease the burden of the financial pressures faced by levy-payers.”