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Going for growth

There was a generally upbeat mood at this year’s Pig & Poultry Fair at Stoneleigh during May. BPEX took the opportunity of launching its new four-year strategy, with a strong emphasis on closing the efficiency gap between British pig producers and a number of their EU counterparts. Increasing exports of British pig meat are now making a significant contribution to maintaining pig prices on the GB market.

The biennial Pig & Poultry Fair at Stoneleigh provides a useful barometer of confidence levels in the British pig industry. Most exhibitors and attendees at this year’s event confirmed that a more buoyant mood seemed to have returned to the beleaguered industry of a few years ago, as reported in a number of reports in the farming press:

Farmers Weekly

Farmers Guardian

Pig Progress

BPEX launched a new strategy for their organisation’s activities for the period 2014 to 2018. The new strategy, entitled 'Going for Growth' has five main strands:

  • Helping the industry ‘close the gap’ with competitors – or narrow the technical performance gap between English producers and competitors
  • Protecting the environment – or help pig producers comply with existing and emerging legislation and achieve recognition for progress made in reducing environmental impact
  • Enhancing pig welfare – or help pig producers comply with existing and emerging legislation and achieve recognition for progress made in improving welfare
  • Encouraging safe and traceable pork – or help producers and processors produce pork that continues to be safe and which consumers can have confidence is fully traceable from farm to finished product
  • Helping to sell more pork – or stimulate the demand for pork through communication of the benefits of choosing pork and securing and developing export markets

BPEX also reported that exports of pig meat from the UK in March had reached the highest monthly total since 1998 – with Hong Kong and China accounting for much of the increase, despite only having been open to UK exports since mid-2012.

The recently published 'BPEX Yearbook 2013 - 2014' includes a full report on all the previous year's activities and the 'BPEX Pig Pocketbook' contains a wide range of statistics on the GB pig industry.