Use legislation to your advantage, pig producers advised

by 5m Editor
20 October 2004, at 12:00am

UK - The pig industry is streets ahead of other livestock sectors in areas such as traceability and assurance schemes and should use this advantage to help promote its product in the market place.

JSR Genetics on

It should be more proactive in problem-solving and dealing with the welter of paperwork caused by legislation. Problems caused by legislation often appeared ten times greater than they actually were, Simon Watchorn told members of the Suffolk Pig Discussion Group.

Mr Watchorn, who runs an outdoor herd of 500 JSR Genetics' Gold X sows at Earsham, near Bungay in Suffolk and is vice-chairman of the NPA Producer Group, suggested that producers should turn these legislative procedures to their own advantage. For instance, they should milk the quarterly veterinary inspections required by assurance schemes for every bit of information and advice they could get. "After all, you are paying for the visits."

"If you are only rearing 181/2 pigs per sow a year, find out where you are going wrong and aim for 20," he advised. "If you are doing 24 then there is no earthly reason why this can't be increased to 241/2. Don't look on these inspections as a problem. Make use of them."

Britain as a whole could produce 20,000 pigs a week more, just by raising output, pointed out Mr Watchorn. In particular, the industry needed to make more of the value of assurance schemes in terms of welfare, traceability and food safety to help its customers who, in turn, could use the information to impress their own customers, such as supermarkets. "We need to produce an aura around our product to help it compete and secure its place in the market," he declared.

Source: JSR Genetics - 19th October 2004

5m Editor