Speaking to FoodManufacture.co.uk about the announcement yesterday (January 22), National Pig Association (NPA) acting general manager Lizzie Press said Cranswick had given no official reason for its decision, which has possibly removed 30% of the pigs from the sample.
Press said: “Cranswick have pulled out of the DAPP knowing full well this will probably cause a domino effect as processors are only prepared to report price information if they are all committed.
“Therefore, no DAPP would mean complete disarray with regards to price and maybe the opportunity for processors to renegotiate contracts.”
She said there had been reports that Cranswick somehow believed the DAPP was “anti-competitive”, yet added that the feeling in the industry was Cranswick “simply want to reduce the base level that they pay for their pigs by trying to destroy the DAPP by withdrawing”.
However, Press also said the industry and the NPA was disappointed at Cranswick’s move, adding many believed it would “backfire” on Cranswick, as the DAPP is seen to be a robust, auditable and transparent price reporting mechanism.
Cranswick declined to respond to Press’s comments.
The government requires the UK pig industry to collect and report weekly price information for the European Commission, which is delivered in the form of DAPP by British pig levy body BPEX.
Weekly price information
Andrew Knowles, BPEX head of communication, told FoodManufacture.co.uk that BPEX also did not know why Cranswick had pulled out of the voluntary price reporting system.
Knowles said there had been talk among British pig processors that pig prices were a lot lower in Europe and DAPP worked too slowly for processors here to attain more desirable prices.
Yet, he said pulling from the DAPP would not make much of a difference to Cranswick’s ability to steer prices “because the value of something is the value and you can’t buck the market”. “I don’t think it will give Cranswick an edge”.
No other drop-outs
Knowles said no other major DAPP contributing companies/abattoirs had notified BPEX about dropping out.
The list of voluntary contributors to the DAPP sample includes HG Blake, Cheale Meats, FA Gill, Tulip, Karro, Dunbia, Woodhead Bros and Lamberts.
Meanwhile, Cranswick and meat processor Tulip recently bought 18,000 pigs from the pig farming business Dents.