BPEX/ Vion: Pig producers can improve returns

11-11-2011 | |

Pig producers can improve returns by aiming for at least 85% of finished pigs to meet the top grade specifications on their abattoir contract. This was a key message from a Walk the Line Day held at Vion’s Malton processing plant.

Jointly hosted with BPEX, Walk the Line days are designed to help share best practice among members of the pig supply chain.
BPEX knowledge transfer manager Lis Ravn said: “Processors want to receive a particular type of pig to best meet the demands of retailers and consumers for particular cuts, sizes and trends such as the preference for low fat pork.
“Pigs which do not meet the optimum contract specifications require more processing which incurs more cost, which can then affect the price received by suppliers. It is essential producers understand their contract and the product they need to supply. Pigs that grade outside the ‘optimum box’ can lose 10p per kg on average.  
“Weighing pigs routinely throughout their lifetime helps inform management decisions to improve uniformity, involving nutrition, health and environment, which all play a part. If pens are not emptied on an all-in all-out basis, producers should weigh pigs when selecting for slaughter to ensure they are all within the contract weight range.”
William de Klein from Vion Food Group said: “This is a part of a wider programme that aims to improve supply chain communications. The event was a great opportunity to discuss prevailing issues and to promote a greater understanding of challenges facing both farmers and processors.”
To help make information as accessible as possible, Vion sends producers text messages containing their slaughter data and, with the introduction of the Vion FarmingNet software, a more detailed report is sent by email.
There is further guidance from BPEX in 2TS Action for Productivity factsheets 11: Increasing uniformity of finished pigs and 22: Improve your marketing return.