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Stackyard News Feb 06

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    Peering Into Pig Industry's Future

Top international speakers gave an insight into their forecasts for the future of the pig industry at a major conference held in London.

The Meat and Livestock Commission's Outlook 2006 was split into parallel sessions in the afternoon, one of which focused on pigs.

The event was held at 1 Gt George Street on January 31 and attracted more than 170 people.

Speakers included British Pig Executive Chief Executive Mick Sloyan, Home-Grown Cereals Authority Senior Economist Julian Bell and Anne Birgitte Lundholt, former CEIO of Danske Slagterier, now Vice President of the International Meat Secretariat.

Mick Sloyan's presentation included a section on the updated Road to Recovery which has just been published concentrating on health, costs, industry confidence and value.

His other key points were that the industry was facing:

  • Greatly improved productivity but a small decline in the breeding herd
  • A small decline in EU production
  • Global competition will keep European prices under pressure
  • Progress with WTO but no direct impact this year

Julian Bell said there were five key issues:

  • A big world grain crop in 2005 leaving the EU reliant on Brussels support
  • World grain stocks falling, EU stocks rising
  • Forward wheat prices above intervention
  • Soya bean stocks building
  • Volatility in the market will continue

Anne Birgitte Lundholt believed:

  • New players such as Brazil would become a major force
  • Veterinary and food safety issues will become increasingly important
  • Agriculture is not something special, it is a business like any other
  • We have higher costs so we must produce something which gives a higher price
  • Focus on efficiency and the entire chain
  • Fight any kind of bad farming.

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