Bpex encourages pig producers to aim for top grade specs

Pig producers can improve returns by aiming for at least 85% of finished pigs to meet the top grade specifications on their abattoir contract, Bpex has said.

The announcement was made at the first ‘Walk the Line’ day, a joint initiative from Bpex and meat processor Vion, which aims to share best practice among pig producers.

Bpex knowledge transfer manager Lis Ravn said: “Processors want to receive a particular type of pig to best meet the demands of retailers and consumers for particular cuts, sizes and trends such as the preference for low-fat pork.

“Pigs that do not meet the optimum contract specifications require more processing, which incurs more cost, which can then affect the price received by suppliers. It is essential producers understand their contract and the product they need to supply. Pigs that grade outside the ‘optimum box’ can lose 10p/kg on average.  

“Weighing pigs routinely throughout their lifetime helps inform decisions to adjust management for more uniformity, involving nutrition, health and environment, as all these factors play a part. If pens are not emptied on an all-in all-out basis, producers should weigh pigs when selecting for slaughter to ensure they are all within the contract weight range.

As part of this new supply chain communications programme, Vion now sends producers text messages containing their slaughter data, as well as a more detailed email report using the new Vion FarmingNet software.