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News 460 views last update:Sep 11, 2008

Europe: Pig Profitability Returning

Rising feed costs have put European pig producers under pressure over the last year, but producer margins have improved gradually and are now approaching their long-term average; this was the view of agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel as she addressed World Meat Congress in South Africa.

Over the last 12 years, average pig producer margin was about £40 per 100 kilos, she said, but earlier this year it dropped “close to” zero. She acknowledged that in some member countries, margin was “even below” zero.

Challenges
Analysis of the challenges facing the European meat sector should not mask its successes, she said.

“The European Union has responded very robustly to the food safety problems of the past. We have been rigorously enforcing high standards, and we have restored our solid reputation for safety and quality.”

She said it was not within her power to remove all uncertainty from the life of a farmer or a meat producer. "Nevertheless, I would like to see an environment which is as predictable as possible - in terms of trade, and in terms of domestic policy.”

Related Website
• World Meat Congress

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