Investment in domestic pig flying herd is finally paying off

THERE ARE encouraging signs that investment by UK pig producers is yielding improvements in productivity and ultimately pro?tability, the chief executive of the British Pig Executive (BPEX) has said.

Speaking at this year's Pig and Poultry Fair, Mick Sloyan said the situation was improving despite the disappointing recent decline in the pig breeding herd. He highlighted some of the projects in which BPEX was engaged to help the industry, including the British Pig Health Scheme, the British Pig Project and the Stockman's Eye video imaging system.

He said BPEX believed training was a vital component for the future of the industry to encourage and retain young people, which was why it was backing the industry initiative From Sustainability to Sustained Ability. BPEX is under no illusions about the scale of the challenge facing the pig industry. The latest BPEX report on imports into the UK and the behaviour of supermarkets in particular, shows the impact of price-based competition.

He said if supermarkets and foodservice companies were serious about corporate and social responsibility, they had to treat their suppliers fairly."BPEX is committed to helping producers and processors achieve a competitive position, particularly within Europe. But it will not be possible without the commitment of customers to trade on a fair and equitable basis," he added.

The Pig and Poultry fair held at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire gave producers and processors the opportunity to visit industry equipment specialists who were exhibiting the latest in machinery and technical developments. Buyers from Thailand, China, South Korea, India and Poland were among the global visitors to the show.