Bankers Urged to be More Positive About Pigs

by 5m Editor
12 December 2013, at 7:03am

UK - Pig industry independent adviser Peter Crichton has urged bankers to look more favourably upon farmers who want to invest in pigs.

"The United Kingdom pig industry at the moment is in a better state of health than it has been for many years, because of the reduced gap between feed and pig prices," he told Radio 4 listeners.

But the industry had a shortage of housing for finishers, he said.

"The problem is that quite a lot of diversification schemes have taken place with business units, barn conversions and so on, and this has reduced finisher space.

"We have also seen a lack of investment because of the unprofitable years that we've had, really since 1996-97, so some finishing space is wearing out.

"We need bankers to take a more enlightened view of contractors as well as independent producers who wish to expand by building permanent finishing facilities on their units, which can in some cases also be used for other purposes if pig production were to go out of favour."

Peter Crichton, who was the winner of last year's NPA Chris Brant Award for "going the extra mile for the industry" explained the mechanics of integrated pig businesses to listeners.

Contract breeding and finishing could insulate pig-keepers from the very sharp falls that could often occur in pig prices, providing them with a regular income rather than exposing them to "risk and reward", he explained.

And he said that the Dent pig business collapse was not a symptom of poor trading conditions currently, but the company had been a casualty of a long trading period previously, when feed costs had been unsupportably high in relation to pig returns.