It is feared that about 30% of Dutch pig producers may shut up shop by 2013.
The Dutch Agri- and Horticultural Organisation (LTO) expects these consequences on the basis of a current survey amongst its members. Chairman Annechien ten Have expressed her worries in Dutch local newspaper De Gelderlander.
In 2013, all sow operations in Europe will have to offer loose sow housing – gestating sows will no longer be allowed being held in sow crates, except for the first weeks of gestation. Reconstructing farm operations can be a costly business, hence producers have the time until 2013 to make necessary changes.
Ten Have was quoted to say: “Reorganisations in bad times are logical. The problem is, however, that not only badly-operated farms will be struck by these mandatory investments – but ordinary family-operated farms as well.”
In addition, reorganisations are arriving at a very bad moment as many operations are currently in difficult financial positions due to adverse times in the pig industry. These pig producers do not have the opportunity to wait with gradually phasing out production until pig prices are back on an acceptable level, Ten Have feared.
She said, ”It will not be a disaster in case producers can properly phase out production, buy a house and repay their debts. The way it goes now, is that many producers who have to quit production prior to 2013 will have very severe debts.”
In the Netherlands, discussions have been started up after these developments.