Half of Producers Plan to Expand

by 5m Editor
26 August 2011, at 9:12am

UK - According to a recent survey, almost 30 per cent of producers are more optimistic about the future of thier businesses than the present poor state, and more than half expect to increase production in the coming five years.

Forty per cent of pig producers are less certain about the next 12 months compared to the present, according to an NFU confidence survey of England and Wales farmers, reports the National Pig Association (NPA).

However, over a quarter (28 per cent) believe the next year will bring better trading conditions – 22 per cent being a little more confident and six per cent much more confident.

Looking at the next five years, 38 per cent expect more of the same, whilst 20 per cent are a little more confident and 14 per cent are much more confident. But over one-quarter (28 per cent) are less confident than with the present.

The efficacy of PCV2 vaccines makes it difficult to analyse responses to the NFU's questions about production, as many producers expect to see further productivity gains without increasing sow numbers.

A majority of producers (56 per cent) will maintain their current levels of production or will reduce production slightly. However, 40 per cent say they expect to expand production slightly and four per cent forecast much higher production.

If some of these are referring to actual increases in herd size as opposed to increased output per sow, it gives strength to NPA's view that producers in established supply chains – such as Waitrose and Morrisons – see a future in the industry, whilst the majority – supplying Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's – find it harder to see a way forward.

In the next five years, 48 per cent of producers expect to see their production remain the same or decline, whilst 38 per cent see slightly higher production and 14 per cent see much higher production.