Introduction to the Danish pig industry
Producing pigs is one of Denmark’s key farming businesses, accounting for nearly 30 per cent of the country’s total agricultural value and 20 per cent of its food exports. Danish pork and bacon products are exported to over 140 countries around the world.
There are currently around 3,500 farms keeping pigs in Denmark. The number of farms has declined significantly over the years, but total pig production has risen as the size of individual pig farming enterprises continues to increase. Danish pig farmers are among the most efficient in the world, producing on average around 30 piglets per sow per annum.
Co-operative farming has a long history in Denmark. The first Danish pig farmers’ co-operative, where the farmers owned the abattoir receiving their pigs, was established in Horsens in Jutland in 1887 and remains the model for the Danish pig industry today. Just two pig farming co-operatives remain, Danish Crown and Tican, receiving around 16 million pigs from their farmer members.
The Danish pig industry has a longstanding trading relationship with Britain and the first recorded shipment of Danish Bacon took place in 1847. Danish Bacon was one of the first food products to be advertised on commercial television, which was launched in the 1950s, and subsequently became one of Britain’s iconic food brands.
A brief history of the Danish bacon trade with the British market can be found at this link.
Today Denmark supplies around 20 per cent of all the pork and bacon consumed in Britain and for more information on companies selling and marketing Danish meat products in the British market, click on these links:
Direct Table Foods: