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Pigmen should forge close links with UK farmers

by 5m Editor
14 September 2004, at 12:00am

IRELAND - Ireland’s pig industry will decrease further in five years time, while the pig industries in Northern Ireland, the UK and Eastern Europe will expand, pig farmer Pat Costello told the ASA conference.

He said the Irish pig industry needed very efficient market-driven factories like those in Denmark and needed to establish their product names in the UK and Europe.

"Larger efficient units will survive and there may be a future for smaller farmers in the remote areas to produce piglets and transport them to the UK fattening," he said. "Margins in the future will be tighter but prices will be less cyclical. I expect much more integration with the factories and in turn with the retailers."

Looking at future markets, he said Irish pig producers need to produce welfare friendly pigs, especially for the UK multiples.

"We should forge closer links with UK farmer groups to sell our products over there."

One of Mr Costello's enterprises is a 2,500-sow unit in Kildare where he produces 1,200 pigs/week and transports them to his unit in the UK for fattening.

Source: Europe Intelligence Wire - 14th September 2004

5m Editor