Buyer steps in to help struggling Canterbury pig farmer

One News

18 May 2022

Donna-Marie Lever

Canterbury pig farmer Hamish Mee has been thrown a lifeline as he faced the possibility of having to euthanise 219 pigs he couldn’t sell.

His contract was cancelled with short notice leaving him in the lurch, and with the local pork market flooded, yesterday he began the grim task of digging a mass grave on his Methven farm.

Hamish Mee said the pork industry was in crisis, with a backlog of supply chain issues from Covid-19, and an increase in cheap imports flooding the market.

Read more: Mass graves being dug as pork industry on brink of collapse

The NZ Pork Board said Mee was in a dire situation, and was not alone, with other farmers facing similar but less severe issues.

Mee has now secured a long term contract with AFFCO in Whanganui and the pigs will now be shipped there instead.

Pigs on Hamish Mee's Canterbury farm

The pork industry is still facing longer term issues with the Code of Welfare for Pigs, which is currently under consultation. There are 23 proposed changes, which if implemented, would prove very costly for pig farmers.

New Zealand has around 90 commercial pig farms in New Zealand.