The pig industry is a major sector in UK agriculture. The UK pig industry has its origin in 6000 years of farming. Throughout this long period, the pig has been an important and valuable farming animal that has contributed to consuming product wastes, fertilizing the land, and providing sufficient meat sources. However the UK pig industry sector is different from many other sectors, it is not supported by state or European subsidies. Nowadays, pigs are only kept in a farmed condition in the UK, as the practice of traditionally keeping pigs in the back gardens in the countryside has been outlawed.
The undermined UK industry by the cheap pig imports and the markedly rising pig production costs owing to farmers’ compliance with the welfare legislation, these two factors have made a strong impact on a significant contraction of the national pig industry in 2013. The risen pig production cost was caused by the blighted crop production because of the global droughts which has led to the risen prices of pig feed. This factor has had an impact on the UK pig industry for a long time till the end of July 2013. So it means the gap between feed and pig production prices is being reduced. And pig industry independent adviser Peter Crichton has urged bankers to look more favorably upon farmers who want to invest in pig farming.
But he also indicated that UK pig farming had a shortage of pig housing and finishers, though UK pig farming at the moment was in a better state of health.
“The problem is that quite a lot of diversification schemes have taken place with business units, barn conversions, and so on, and this has reduced finisher space.” He said.
“We have also seen a lack of investment because of the unprofitable years that we have had, really since 1996-1997, so some finishing space is wearing out.”
“We need bankers to take a more enlightened view of contractors as well as independent producers who want to extend by building permanent finishing facilities on their units, which can in some cases be used for other purposes if pig production were to go out of favor.”
Contract breeding and finishing could insulate pig keepers from the very sharp falls that could often occur in pig prices, providing them with a regular income rather than exposing them to “risk and reward”, he explained.
He said that the pig business collapse was not a symptom of poor trading conditions currently, but the company had been a casualty of a long trading period previously when feed costs had been unsupported high in relation to pig returns.