Thai pig farmers have agreed to cooperate with a government scheme to make local and export food free of chemicals by the end of the year.

Under the scheme, about 95% of Thailand’s pig farmers are supposed to stop using chemicals to redden meat in order to attract consumers.

The Swine Raisers Association of Thailand expects the programme to discourage the use of beta-agonists in raising pigs and consequently improve consumer confidence. It predicts the scheme will help raise pig output by about 5% from 10 million pigs last year. To achieve the goal, the Thai agriculture ministry will check farms and abattoirs and close those that use banned chemicals.