December 15, 2008
UK heightens promotion on pork as pig herd decreases
With the pig industry increasingly dominated by imports, there is a need to promote and brand British pork.
Peter Crichton, a pork auctioneer and valuer, in an ACMC-sponsored meeting of the Suffolk Pig Discussion group, said the industry should make a clearer distinction between foreign pork and the British product as well as consider employing "food professionals" with an advertising agency to help in the branding of British pork.
Crichton predicted that the UK total breeding herd would drop from the present 423,000 sows to 400,000 sows next year.
He warned that in a market so influenced by imports, pig prices were still ruled by the Euro dollar and its value relative to pound sterling.
Despite better swine productivity due to the use of the PCV2 vaccine, production on the farm was still not good compared with continental producers, with the top-third indoor and outdoor herds rearing 25 and 22 pigs per sow annually respectively.
Crichton advised producers to consider actions such as conducting some strategic planning analysis of their businesses, forward-buying of their feed as insurance and, for those that were good at breeding, to consider concentrating on this area rather than finishing.
US$1 = GBP0.666 (Dec 15)