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Today's Pig Farmer: Efficient and Animal-Friendly

by 5m Editor
30 September 2010, at 10:21am

NETHERLANDS - Pig farmers who want to keep their business profitable must work very efficiently and take animal welfare into account.

This conclusion was presented by LEI researcher, Robert Hoste, in a presentation to a press conference for the coming agricultural trade show EuroTier, to be held in Hanover, Germany.

Pig farmers will have to work very efficiently in order to meet the rising demand for pork over the coming years, according to Dr Hoste.

"Tomorrow's producer is already extremely efficient today," he said. However, research shows large differences in the costs incurred by European pig farmers to produce the same amount of meat. Even within the Netherlands, there are significant differences. Dr Hoste expects, therefore, that the less profitable pig farms will not survive the coming years.

Balance

According to Dr Hoste, the pig also needs to be given a place in the sustainability triangle of People, Planet, and Profit. So he introduced 'the four Ps', adding 'Pig' to the other three.

"The European pig sector can only survive if People, Planet, Profit and Pig are all in balance," he said.

Stars

Dr Hoste explained: "Whenever prosperity increases in the Western world, people automatically become more interested in ethical issues such as sustainability and animal welfare. Pig farmers need to take this into account as well."

He pointed out the example of the Dutch Beter Leven quality mark. Starting in November 2010, Dutch consumers will be able to find stars on products such as meat.

He said: "The number of stars indicates to what degree the product has been rated as animal-friendly by the Dutch Animal Protection Society. Two stars, for instance, indicates free-range meat."

As the world population grows, consumption of meat will also increase. The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) expects that by 2014, the global demand for pork will have increased by 14 per cent as compared to 2006, despite the fact that more and more people are choosing to eat less meat or to follow a vegetarian diet.

EuroTier 2010 takes place at the Hanover Exhibition Grounds, Germany, on 16 to 19 November 2010.

Further Reading

- You can find out more about EuroTier 2010 by clicking here.