Massive exodus from pigs a possibility

UK - More than 90 per cent of pig producers will seriously consider quitting the industry if the imbalance between feed costs and sales persists – and one quarter already are thinking about it.
calendar icon 25 October 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

This dramatic reflection of the industry’s depression comes from a survey conducted by the British Pig Executive (Bpex).

The results, weighted by sow numbers and covering at least a third of the GB breeding herd, showed a massive 70 per cent would seriously consider stopping pig production ‘soon’ and that 25 per cent were already going through that thought process.

Putting a time scale on a possible widespread exodus from pigs, the survey revealed one third of producers feel they can only go on for another six months if the prices they receive do not improve, and a further one quarter would give it up to a year.

It is the losses that are being sustained in the face of high feed prices that producers overwhelmingly (73 per cent) cite as the biggest threat to British farming.

Bpex strategy co-ordinator Andrew Knowles said he believed the sentiments were very real and that it would probably take about 11 months from decisions being made to a reduction in the number of British slaughter pigs coming forward.

"The retail and food sectors need to recognise this now – and indeed some are, which is welcome, though not enough – but furthermore, we need to ensure that any extra money does find its way back to producers and does not get 'stuck to the sides of the pipe' on the way down," said Mr Knowles.

Source: FarmersGuardian

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