Voluntary Sector: Taking action ... National Pig Association vs supermarkets and UK Government

Protesters: National Pig Association

Target: Supermarkets and the Government

Location: From Wiltshire to Westminster

Date: 3 March

THE LOWDOWN

A 16-foot sausage made its way from Wiltshire to Westminster along the M4 as hundreds of pig farmers descended on Downing Street to campaign for a fair deal from supermarkets and processors. Farmers handed in a petition to Number 10 and asked MPs and peers to sign the giant sausage to show their support. Celebrity supporters at the rally included Christine Hamilton, Sharron Davies and Liz McClarnon.

Why the protests?

The British pig industry is facing huge losses following a dramatic rise in animal feed costs over the past six months. Many farmers say they will go out of business or be forced to cut production drastically if they do not get a higher price soon. But they claim that supermarkets and processors continue to make huge profits by importing increasing amounts of lowerwelfare pork. Farmers are currently losing £3m a week - about £20 on every pig sold.

What was the response?

Richard Dodd, of the British Retail Consortium, said: 'Supermarkets have very narrow margins and 82 per cent of their pork and ham is sourced in the UK.'

Media treatment

The story was widely covered in the media, particularly the Daily Star, BBC News online, the Press Association, Farming Today, the Swindon Advertiser and the Hull Daily Mail.

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