Niche Markets Central to Pork Sector's Success

by 5m Editor
19 May 2009, at 8:04am

IRELAND - The Irish pork industry needs identify niche markets in Europe as the beef and lamb sectors have already done.

This was the advice given to pig processors and farmers at the Pig Health Society's annual symposium last week, reports Majella O'Sullivan for the Irish Independent.

Albert Vernooj, head of agriculture at Rabobank International, was identifying ways that Ireland could catch up with the EU's top pork-producing countries.

"Ireland can play a more prominent role on the European pork market in the future when it modernises its primary production," he said.

Feed conversion rations and sourcing of commodities would also be key to the Irish sector's success, he said.

He identified opportunities in the UK market where, due to consolidation, retailers might be looking for other suppliers.

He noted that historic trends suggest that the current decrease in demand for meat, particularly the premium cuts, brought on by the economic crisis, would not have a long-term impact.

He said global demand was predicted to grow by 20pc in the next decade.

"Pig prices will start to recover in the EU but it's just difficult to say when. But commodity prices will also start to rise again. Efficiency is the key," Mr Vernooj said.