News 1869 views last update:Feb 25, 2016

'Dutch pork producers should focus on Western Europe'

For future generations, the pig industry in the Netherlands should focus only on the market in Western Europe, as it can not compete with major global players.

That, in short, was the vision of Dr Siem Korver, professor of food, farming and agribusiness at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. He spoke at a seminar directed at young farmers last week in the Netherlands, writes Dutch magazine Boerderij.

His view of the future includes a growth of the world population to 9.6 billion souls in 2050, with main growth occurring in China, India, Africa and Latin America, and a subsequent rise in demand for animal protein. For pork producers in the Netherlands, he feels this only offers limited opportunities.

Pork industry with 'Licence to produce'

Looking at mainstream pork production, Korver said it is likely that countries like Brazil for instance shall bypass the Netherlands when it comes down to cost of production. Hence a focus on Western Europe will be inevitable.

Key in this development is having a 'licence to produce' – or producing according to methods that have been accepted by Western society.

Transparency and method of production

This licence to produce comes with a transparency about the way pork is produced. Korver suggested his audience to utilise the opportunities social media offer, like e.g. Twitter and Facebook, as in his view online food sales shall rise. Rabobank estimates that by 2030 about 20-25% of all consumed food will be purchased online.

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