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Building up confidence in pig industry

by 5m Editor
28 November 2006, at 1:41pm

UK - The British pig industry should look forward and start investing in new housing to secure its future. But there is a clear need for greater co-operation between the ‘production’ and ‘construction’ sectors to accelerate much-needed restructuring, Farmex director, Hugh Crabtree, told members of the Suffolk Pig Discussion Group.

Speaking on the British Pig Project (BPP) - a housing blueprint for the British pig industry - he said that lessons should be learned from the poultry industry with whom UK pig farmers will be competing for investment funds.

“New entrants should be encouraged. We want new blood to see the sense in putting up accommodation to contract grow finishing pigs,” he said.

One of the problems was the way farmers looked at investment. He suggested that it should not be £ per pig place, £ per sq m, or even £ per kg throughput, but return on investment. When a clear return on investment could be seen then farmers would again have the confidence to invest.

At the heart of this was the provision of standardised buildings which would give a known performance but, traditionally, 50 percent of UK farmers went down the home-build/local builder route while the other half bought package-deal buildings. “Every building is different, but the BPP offers a more standardised approach together with financial guidelines,” he said.

“There is a clear case for standardisation for different market segments — particularly finishing houses — in which pig performance would be monitored and linked to a contract which would ensure an acceptable return on investment.”

Since its launch in May this year, the BPP had attracted much interest, including enquiries from arable farmers, and the industry now needed to focus on new entrants, suggested Mr Crabtree.

ThePigSite News Desk

5m Editor