As more British pig producers returned to profit, the results of the BPEX ‘confidence survey’ hinted that a more positive outlook may be returning to the industry. Producers welcomed the news that the Co-op and Sainsbury planned to increase their sourcing of British pig meat.UK pig prices continued to move forward during June, and AHDB data comparing the DAPP with average costs of production suggested that GB producers were ‘back in the black’ during June for the first time in three years.
Feed accounts for around 70% of the cost of producing pigs and high feed costs have been the principal reason behind producers’ losses in recent years. Feed grain prices have already fallen back from earlier peaks and, although soya prices remained high, these are forecast to fall back during the autumn.
The BPEX Annual Pig Meat Industry Survey seeks to measure ‘confidence levels’ among all stakeholders in the pig meat chain - producers, processors, allied industries, veterinarians, retailers, & foodservice operators.
Although confidence among producers remained fragile, there was an emerging belief that their competitiveness and profitability would improve during the coming year. This sentiment was not mirrored among the retail respondents – presumably influenced by limited expectations of any growth in consumer expenditure in the short term.
There was also a widely expressed view that availability of finishing accommodation would limit any significant expansion in output during the coming year.
As reported in the Farmers Guardian and Farmers Weekly, the Co-op announced the launch of new ‘farmers’ groups’ for beef, pork, lamb and poultry to supply their own label ranges. Participating farmers will have the opportunity to benefit from bulk purchasing of feed, medicines and training support.
Sainsbury announced that from July all its own label fresh pork will be ‘British’ sourced – although its bacon and gammon will continue to be British, Danish or Dutch.