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UFU Awaits Results of Pig Industry Review

by 5m Editor
1 April 2011, at 12:48pm

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - The Ulster Farmers’ Union is eagerly awaiting the results of a pig industry review compiled by Cogent Management Consultants.

The report, commissioned by the Ulster Pork and Bacon Forum in 2010, is reviewing the market for pork and bacon; pig production; and the processing sector, as well as investigating the opportunities and threats in all three areas.

UFU Pork and Bacon Chairman Norman Brown said, “The recent months have been extremely difficult for producers in the pigs sector and farmers have continued to watch their returns diminish. In the recent years many pig producers have restructured the operations of their business and have strived to maximise efficiencies, leaving little scope in this area for dealing with the current situation.

“My fear is that this report will show that there is very little value added to our pigmeat but rather it is being exported solely as a commodity. I hope that this report will inspire processors to think strategically and to consider how the industry can move forward and get a better return from the market by adding value to our products. Ultimately, pig producers are businessmen and women and are willing to adapt to what the market demands, provided there is profit in it.“

The UFU is also eager to see the review’s recommendations with regard to the feed industry and how volatility could be minimised.

Mr Brown said, “Feed cost is the single most significant cost to pig producers and I believe the grain trade has a responsibility to help accurately inform producers about futures markets. This will enable producers to make an informed choice when buying grain.“

He added, “The sad truth is that the pig industry is in dire straights. Now is time for the major players: retailers, processors, and feed companies alike to start planning for a sustainable and profitable future for the industry. At the moment we are walking a fine line that could ultimately lead to demise of the pigs industry in Northern Ireland.“

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