Positive Signs at the Coal Face

UK - The British pig industry is still showing improved production performance according to the latest Cost of Production survey published by the British Pig Executive (BPEX).
calendar icon 15 January 2008
clock icon 3 minute read
This comprehensive report covers 13 countries for the year 2006 and shows improvements in Britain in both litters per sow and pigs born alive per litter.

Great Britain remains among those EU countries with relatively high production costs. This reflects the unique nature of British pig production and particularly the higher welfare systems used in this country

The key points are:
  • A decline in Post-weaning mortality
  • An increase in the number of pigs finished per sow
  • An increase of 16g in average daily liveweight gain
BPEX Chief Executive Mick Sloyan said the results are very is encouraging. "The investment made by pig producers in recent years is really paying off with clear benefits for pig welfare and better productivity. The top third of British producers are already on a par with the rest of Europe which is an encouragement to the rest of the industry to attain the same levels," he said.

However, the report illustrates how important feed is in the overall cost of production in all countries around the world and the industry remains acutely aware of how difficult it will be for British pig producers to continue to make progress given the intense pressure from higher feed costs and little movement in pig prices.

"BPEX is committed to helping the industry through the feed cost campaign to which £1.5 million has been pledged and the continued hard work of the Knowledge Transfer team making sure the best technical know-how is available to all producers," said Mr Sloyan.

Close analysis

The report, Cost of Production in Selected Countries looks closely at EU production and also includes Brazil, Canada and the United States. It is the sixth in a series that examines the relative costs of production in selected countries and is a joint project involving a number of EU organisations and countries, known collectively as InterPIG. Ten of the 13 InterPIG members are in the EU while Brazil, Canada and the United States joined recently.

Copies of the publication are available free to pig producers and processors in England and Wales.
Contact Tony Fowler on Tel.01908 844281 or email [email protected] for more details.
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