The outbreak could cause the price of pork and bacon to skyrocket over the coming months, a British company has warned. York-based Beacon said the prices will rise with an increased demand on European suppliers. The company said its supplier, Bidfood, has found that throughout 2019, German and Dutch bacon suppliers have seen a huge uplift in orders from China.
The deadly swine fever began affecting pigs on farms in East Asia last year, after being identified in China in August.
According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, African swine fever is a “severe viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs”.
The WOAH also say the virus, which is “highly contagious” and can be spread by live or dead pigs, has no approved vaccine.
Whilst it is “responsible for serious production and economic losses”, it is “not a risk to human health”.
There was an 18 percent increase in bacon prices this year February to April, according to Bidfood and the market price of pork has risen by a whopping 38 percent in just four weeks.
Another of Beacon’s suppliers, called Brakes, reportedly suggested that 30-50 percent of Chinese pig farms have been affected by the outbreak.
Beacon’s Ben Charles said the swine flu is accentuating a problem of rising pig prices due to Brexit.
He said: “Brexit has been a driving force behind the price of pork throughout the first quarter of 2019, but the outbreak of African swine fever has mounted pressure on the market.
“The current increased demand that faces the European suppliers makes it increasingly likely that prices will continue to rise throughout the rest of the year.
“Beacon will work closely with its leading suppliers to monitor these increases to ensure that demand does not outstrip supply and to mitigate price increases as much as possible.”
African swine fever is called as such as outbreaks have historically been reported in Africa, also South America, parts of Europe and the Caribbean were also affecting.
Since 2007, the disease has been reported in multiple countries across Africa, Asia and Europe.