Awards for Top East Anglian Pig Co Producers

by 5m Editor
31 May 2011, at 9:32am

UK - An urgently needed increase in the retail price of pork would make a major difference in sustaining the UK pig industry, said Jim Burling, pig production manager of East Anglian Pig Co, at its second annual awards evening at Diss, Norfolk.

Mr Burling said that a rise of around five per cent in retail selling prices was needed to counter the impact of record high feed prices and to halt pig producers sending their breeding stock to slaughter.

Neville Green being presented with his Award by Jim Burling

William Crosse being presented with his award by Jim Burling

Left to Right: Neville Green, Mark Rawding (Cranswick) Dean Charlton, William Crosse, John Durrant, Tim Francis, Steve Youngs Oakwood Veterinary Practice) Jim Burling (EAP) Charles Bowes (EAP)

He told almost 100 pig finishers at the evening sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health that the industry had come a long way in becoming more professional, raising health, nutritional standards and responding to the demand for higher welfare products. All their company’s pigs are reared on straw to meet higher welfare standards.

But, he said, there is an additional cost in adopting these systems and he was particularly concerned about the availability of straw with the drought across Eastern England certain to hit supplies at harvest.

Mark Rawding, agricultural manager of Cranswick Country Foods, spoke about the difficult but vital operation of slap marking to identify pigs into the processing plant and the further trial work planned to help improve this task.

Steve Youngs, partner of the Oakwood Veterinary Practice, said that with the overall pig health much improved recently the BPHS monitoring scheme at the Cranswick factory at Watton was playing a useful role in identifying seasonal disease levels in pigs.

“We are keen to support events such as this which encourage high standards and provide a boost to morale particularly at a time when the pig industry is going through a difficult phase in coping with high feed costs,“ commented Freddie French, key account manager with Pfizer.

The awards based on 2010 performance were presented to: Best under 1300 places — William Crosse, Baldock, Hertfordshire, who finishes batches of 500 pigs on a mixed farm which also has arable and sheep enterprises.

Best over 1300 places — Neville Green, of Tibenham, Diss, Norfolk, a specialist family farm which has been supplying the Watton factory for more than 30 years.

Most improved unit — Dean Charlton, of Fakenham, Norfolk, who made the greatest rise up the ‘league table’ of farms

Tidiest and best presented unit — John Durrant, Stowmarket, Suffolk, a large finisher of pigs with extensive arable activities who ‘always runs a tidy unit with attention to detail’, added Mr Burling.

Oakwood healthiest unit — Tim Francis, Halesworth, Suffolk, described as ‘a high quality unit with excellent records and systems that minimize medicine use’.