Concern over the impact higher pig prices could have on UK meat processor Cranswick sent the company’s shares falling today (8 October).

Cranswick, which reported a 6% increase in first-half sales, said the increasing cost of animal feed and upcoming EU rules on animal welfare was leading to a cut in herds in the UK and Europe.

The company, which supplies own-label sausages and bacon to UK retailers, said pig prices in the country were at a three-year high and added EU prices were also increasing. Prices, it said, were anticipated to rise.

“This is an issue affecting the whole supply chain and the scale of the inflation and the need to ensure continuity of supply will necessitate discussions on price increases with the group’s customers; these are underway,” Cranswick said.

However, shares in Cranswick were down 5.24% at 750p at 16:07 BST this afternoon.

While sales for the six months to 30 September were up 6%, underlying sales, which excluded the impact of the acquisition of cooked meats firm Kingston Foods in July, were up 5%.

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Cranswick, which will report its full first-half results in November, added: “With experienced management at all levels of the group, a strong range of products, a well invested asset base and a robust financial position, the board remains confident in the continued long term development of the business.”