EU consumers will soon have a harder time bringing home the bacon, literally. Bacon prices in Europe are forecast to rise significantly due to new EU legislation aimed at improving animal welfare.As The Guardian reports, a partial ban on sow stalls beginning in January 2013, along with with rising pig feed costs due to the U.S. drought, is pushing many pig producers to leave the market. The National Pig Association of the UK paints a grim picture of future breakfasts:
It claims that, if British pig farmers continue to leave the industry, around 1.5m rashers of British bacon and 2.3m British sausages a week will disappear from supermarket shelves. […]BPEX warns that pig production is likely to fall by between 5% and 10% with the result that retailers will . . . face substantial price increases.
At a time when European economies are teetering on the edge of recession and consumers are grappling with high food prices, one might expect the EU to look for ways to make life easier for farmers while providing consumers cheaper food. Instead, they have done the opposite, throwing salt in the wounds of farmers and consumers alike.While E.B. White would be proud, it might be time for the EU to think more about their citizens and less about their pigs.