The National Pig Association (NPA) called on the supermarket chain to support pig producers in an open letter to its chief executive Ken Murphy.
NPA chairman Rob Mutimer stressed that Tesco, given its scale, is uniquely positioned to act to prevent the ‘destruction of the UK pig sector’.
The call comes as last month NFU Scotland warned last week that processors and retailers must deliver a great share of rising pig prices back to producers or risk losing the sector.
Other supermarkets have pledged support to help farmers who are struggling on the back of soaring production costs.
The NPA said that the Co-op, M&S, ALDI, ASDA, Morri-sons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are now paying more for British pork through their dedicated supply chains.
Last month Sainsbury’s revealed it was supporting pig farmers with an additional payment of up to £2.8m to its pork development group.
“A relatively modest investment by Tesco will not only prevent the destruction of the sector, but it will mean that British pork will still be available at a price affordable to your customers. Paying a little more today is likely to save you money in the long term,” said Mutimer in the open letter.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of time and each week that passes puts pig farmers further into the red.”
In response, a Tesco spokesperson said the retailer fully recognised the seriousness of the situation UK pig farmers faced and had worked closely with its suppliers to understand what more it could do to support the sector.
“Through the buying models we already have in place, our suppliers have increased payments to farmers by £3.4million since March 2022. However we would like to do more and are actively working with our suppliers on a further enhanced payment plan to support farmers in the short term."