Chairman of Danish Crown. He was elected on to the Danish Crown board in 2001, was appointed Vice-Chairman in 2006 and Chairman in 2012.
His farms are located North of Aarhus in Jutland: 540 sows and piglets up to 30 kg on one site and 15,000 finishers per year on three other sites.
Grows 50% of the grain used, the rest is sourced from neighbours. Buys in soya beans.
“Denmark is a country that respects the law,” says Erik Bredholt. “Our farmers have invested a lot of time and money in ensuring that we are now compliant with the legislation. In my case I have invested around DKK 4 million in a loose housing system without increasing our production. I think what bothers Danish farmers in general is that if other European countries fail to comply with the regulations or – what I fear the most – is that the definition of what constitutes loose housing is not the same in all European countries. Where Denmark has a huge advantage is that we have control over the entire value chain – from farm to fork. This is why Denmark is in a position to deliver more traceability to supermarkets than other supplying countries. “
When Erik Bredholt was faced with finding a solution to 2013 legislation at his own farm, he had three possibilities: to shut down his sow production; to expand - not only in terms of square metres, but also in terms of sow numbers (which is a solution a number of farmers have opted for); or extend the current facilities. Mr Bredholt opted for the latter.
“We extended our gestation unit in order to make room for the same number of sows as before. The entire process took us 6-8 months. It’s a bit too early to see what the benefits of the system are, but becoming a UK Contract farmer means that I receive a bonus payment. As far as our animals are concerned, when they were confined for three months in stalls, some of them did not want to leave. So you could say it’s now easier to move the animals from one section to another.”
Mr Bredholt has installed straw-based, self-opening “crate” system in the breeding unit where they remain for six days. Afterwards, the sows are divided into groups of 13-14 for the gestation period.