News 1010 views last update:Feb 25, 2016

Creating a sustainable Irish pig industry

Truly Irish Country Foods, an organisation established by pig farmers, are behind a recent drive towards more sustainable agriculture in Europe which has led to the development of a €1.68 million EU funded group called ‘Thrive Rite’. The project is driven by SMEs including Truly Irish and several cutting-edge research groups within the EU who are led by an Irish Biotechnology company, BioAtlantis Ltd.

Pig producers are enduring enormous challenges in the form of rising feed costs. Legislation has also increased with tighter restrictions on reduced antibiotic use. This new group Thrive Rite hope to find the solution.

Truly Irish have always been noted and awarded for their innovativeness and it is no surprise that they are behind this new initiative.

The Truly Irish brand was formed by 85 pig farmers in 2009 and has since established itself as the third biggest breakfast meat brand in Ireland. They have listings with Dunnes, Tesco, SuperValu and Superquinn with products including 82% pork sausages, gluten free sausages, rashers, traditional black and white pudding, bacon joints, gammon steaks and ham fillets.

Key Members include: Michael McAuliffe, CEO, Truly Irish Country Foods Ltd, Prof. John O’Doherty, University College Dublin, John T. O’Sullivan, BioAtlantis Ltd, John McKillen, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Belfast, Clasado Ingredients Ltd, Malta, Drobex-Agro, Poland and University of Technology and life Sciences, Bydgoszcz, Poland will together tackle the fundamental problems facing agriculture in the EU today. It is expected that the project will yield the following results in two years:
•    Increased productivity
•    Reduced level of pathogenic bacteria
•    Increased daily liveweight gain 
•    Improved F.C.E
•    Improved health status in the form of a protective shield
•    Improved digestive system so that the pig is overall healthier and can strive on different diets
•    More focus on dietary requirements of the pig rather than what we presume it to be.

The unique feature of these benefits is that they are derived from natural bioactives. It will make producers rethink how they feed their pigs which will be different to normal current pig production. This research and trials will be carried out in conjunction with University College Dublin.

Pig Progress

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