Dutch pigmeat production levels settle and stabilise

NETHERLANDS - The level of pigmeat production in the Netherlands is not expected to fluctuate over the next few years, even though pig production will continue to fall a bit further.
calendar icon 14 March 2003
clock icon 3 minute read
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This gentle downward trend emerges from figures published this week by the Product Boards for Livestock, Meat and Eggs (PVE).

In line with predictions, the gross domestic production* of the Dutch pig industry in 2002 was approximately 19.6 million pigs. The downward trend is expected to continue until 2005. Since the downturn is largely due to reduced piglet production and their subsequent export, domestic pigmeat production levels are not expected to change significantly over the next few years.

The downturn in gross domestic output reflects a drop in the size of the Dutch national pig herd, which declined by 3.1% to 11.2 million pigs in December 2002, compared to December 2001. Gross domestic production is expected to decrease by a further 5.6% in 2003, to 18.5 million pigs. After that, production is expected to gradually fall to 18 million pigs by 2005.

There are two main reasons for the downturn in pig production in the Netherlands. Half the decrease is due to laws passed to cut the number of pigs produced in the country. There is also an economic reason for the downturn.

The strict legal requirements in the Netherlands governing the housing of pigs, hygiene management and the use of pig manure is too higher cost for some Dutch pig farmers. This has led some farmers to either move out of pigs or leave farming altogether, thereby reducing the number of producers.

Trend in gross domestic production in the Dutch pig industry (x 1,000)
Year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003** 2004** 2005
Gross domestic production* 22.011 23.470 20.800 20.800 19.601 18.500 18.250 18.000

Product Boards for Livestock, Meat and Eggs

* Gross domestic production: number of slaughtered pigs plus the number of live pigs exported, minus the number of live pigs imported
* * Forecast

The high quality standards are largely undertaken voluntarily and form part of the Dutch quality philosophy, which is enshrined in the IKB quality assurance system.

According to this philosophy, all links in the production chain must meet stringent requirements and must work closely together to ensure that the required guarantees are delivered to the customer. Nor are the IKB requirements static; they are constantly being adapted to meet the changing requirements of the market.

The Dutch meat industry also offers supplementary quality programmes based on IKB for customers with additional demands, for example in the area of meat quality or animal housing.

Research has shown that these efforts on the part of the Dutch pig industry to deliver quality at home and abroad are being increasingly recognised and appreciated.

Source: Dutch Meat Board - 14th March 2003
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