QMS a Funding Partner in 'Green Pig' Project

SCOTLAND - A new research project has been launched aimed at reducing the pig sector’s reliance on imported soya.
calendar icon 22 August 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Quality Meat Scotland is one of the funding partners in the ‘Green Pig’ research project, which is looking at including home grown legumes in pig diets with the aim of creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly sector.

Increasing use of home grown legumes such as peas and beans as a protein source reduces the environmental effects of transport compared with soybean meal and also lessens nitrogen inputs needed by home grown alternatives such as rapeseed.

Andy McGowan, Industry Development Manager for Quality Meat Scotland, said: “With the British pig industry facing the triple threat of rising input prices, environmental impact and cheap imports, it’s important that we have joined up research looking at using traditional resources that are suited to our conditions.

“Sustainability won’t come by tackling these issues separately, in the same way that a real solution won’t come without the whole pig production chain working together, so it’s gratifying to see such a joined up approach to the work.”

The project is being coordinated by animal nutrition specialist Dr Jos Houdijk from the Scottish Agricultural College.

He said: “The use of legumes in the UK animal feed industry has traditionally been limited, which may be because the legumes available for animal feeds in the UK are often discarded by other end-users, and therefore too variable in composition to instil confidence in their use.

“The project aims to identify legume varieties that have a closer match to the requirement of the UK pig feeding industry and will reduce environmental impacts when used as an alternative for soybean meal.”

The project has three academic partners Scottish Agricultural College (SAC), University of Nottingham and National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) and is being supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), Union Nationale Interprofessionelle des plantes riches en Proteins (UNIP), BOCM Pauls, Evonik/Degussa, Genesis QA, Harbro, Premier Nutrition, Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO), British Pig Executive (BPEX), and the Soil Association.

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