European pig producers facing crisis
Both the Dutch and Danish herd sizes are shrinking and
pig producers throughout Europe are in crisis. The Danish herd is nearly eight
per cent smaller than it was a year ago and when viewed against the ten percent
fall recorded in summer; this suggests a tentative stabilisation rather than a
Contraction in the
Dutch herd started later than in other parts of Europe but is now significant,
with this year's August census showing a year on year drop of four percent in
the breeding herd.
Pig World Publisher Digby Scott has some thoughts on
the subject: European pig producers have invested heavily in efficient pig
production and now they see mounting losses, their outlets shrinking and extra
environmental and animal welfare costs they cannot afford.
producers are in crisis and for the first time units are lying empty because new
or existing producers are no longer coming forward to step into the shoes of
those who have given up the struggle.
Even those who are hanging on by their fingertips are
wondering if there is any point, because if red-tape and poor prices don't get
them now, low-cost imports from Brazil and the United States will get them in
It is a gloomy prospect. So gloomy that in the next few
years Europe's large processors and retailers might find their gravy train
running into the buffers as the European pig cycle breaks beyond apparent
repair, just as Britain's did a decade ago.
Click here for
the free Pig Progress newsletter
To comment, login here
Or register to be able to comment.