SPANISH pig farmers producing Iberico pork fear the market will be saturated once the worst of the coronavirus is over.
Bars and restaurants are closed and tourism has petered out but between 250,000 and 300,000 pigs are still slaughtered each month,
“With zero or near-zero consumption over Easter we need to make sure that there isn’t a glut when Christmas comes,” Antonio Prieto – president of the Interprofessional Iberico Pig Association (Asici) – declared to El Confidencial.
Suckling pigs of four weeks or less will be ready for slaughter within eight months. After consulting with other farming and agricultural groups, Asici proposes eliminating 20 per cent from the production chain, once agreement can be reached with all of the sectors that receive economic support from the Administration.
“This should prevent the Iberico product from devaluing and fetching the same price as chicken,” Prieto said.
It would also mean lower overheads for the farmers with fewer animals to rear.
Another option would be to delay sending the animals to the abattoirs by one or two months.
“But there are two drawbacks. You have to feed the animal for longer, incurring additional costs and the legs and shoulder will be bigger, making them harder to market,” Prieto said.