Developing Value Chains in the Pig Industry

By Livestock Knowledge Transfer, UK - This article looks at how to identify value chains and what requirements are needed for each chain, from producers through to consumers and marketing.
calendar icon 1 May 2003
clock icon 3 minute read

In Britain we can produce exceptional pork and bacon because of sound technical knowledge and a record of good responsiveness to consumer’s concerns. However, the present lack of integration in the industry structure means that these benefits are not being realised and prices are unreliable.

Greater integration between the major players in the industry (producers, breeding companies, processors, retailers) means we understand one another better, can focus on quality and share added value to the benefit of all. This means developing value chains.

At present there are too many links in the chain, each taking value out. We need greater integration and fewer links. More discussion between the major players in the chain (producers, breeding companies, feed companies, processors and retailers) is needed now.

The producer wants

  • Improved price stability
  • Guaranteed prices
  • A secure market
  • Payments for meeting quality specifications

The processor wants

  • Tight weight range
  • Tight P2 range
  • High killing out %
  • Good conformation: extra weight in leg and loin
  • Low drip loss, maximum yield

The retailer and customer want

  • Good colour and shelf life
  • Tender, juicy, flavoursome meat after cooking
  • Assurances on welfare and food safety
  • Clear labelling

How to guarantee carcass and meat quality

  • Improved genetics
  • Tailored diets/feeds
  • Optimal processing techniques which improve quality
  • Membership of Assured British Pigs or similar farm assurance scheme

Present marketing arrangements

  • Fluctuating prices
  • Insecure markets
  • Lack of clarity in premiums/penalties
  • Marketing chain fragmented
  • Benefits of welfare and quality not realised in higher prices or secure markets

Benefits of intergrated marketing

  • Standard genetics guarantees leanness, conformation and meat quality
  • Standard feeds guarantee taste and flavour
  • Carcass quality specifications easier to achieve-premiums
  • Better price consistency. Added value retained by partners in the chain
  • More saleable product, guaranteeing future sales

Examples of value chains

  • Integrated production, processing and marketing arrangements of different sorts are currently being set up in Britain, all aiming to differentiate themselves
  • Processors include Flagship Foods (Dalehead), George Adams, Bowes, Grampian, Glanbia
  • Marketing companies are UPM, TVC, MVL and Porcofram
  • Direct links between individual producers and abattoirs can produce ‘niche’ products

Source: Livestock Knowledge Transfer - First published 2001. Added to this site 2003.

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