April 1, 2016
COOL cooled EU pig trade in 2015
Fears that the introduction of the Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) regulations in the EU in April last year would reduce the trade in live pigs between EU countries were proven true, particularly trade between the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.
According to the AHDB Pork, the Netherlands and Denmark exported fewer pigs to Germany in 2015 than in 2014, while Germany recorded a 7% reduction in the volume of live imports during the same period.
Denmark used to send over half of its live pig exports, mostly weaners, to Germany. But this trade decreased by just under 2% in 2015, to 6.89 million head, the pork division of the UK's Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board noted.
The volume of live exports from the Netherlands also decreased by 38% to 5.47 million head in 2015 versus 2014. This was largely driven by a decrease in German trade, which was down 48% to 3.04 million head in 2015. "This may be partly a result of the COOL rules, with processors less willing to pay for pigs which might require two different nationalities to be recorded on retail packs", AHDB Pork said.
While it is the largest importer of live pigs in Europe, Germany also exports both weaners and slaughter pigs. However, exports were down sharply last year, "again perhaps affected by COOL", according to AHDB Pork.