Canadian pigs making their way into the European market

05-01-2017 | | |
Canadian pigs making their way into the European market. Photo: Henk Riswick
Canadian pigs making their way into the European market. Photo: Henk Riswick

Genesus breeding material has become available for almost the whole of Europe exclusively through the Danish company Porc-Ex Breeding.

Only in Germany and Spain Porc-Ex is not a distributor; nevertheless sales of Genesus genetics can happen in these countries. Porc-Ex is also distributor for Ukraine and Belarus.

Speaking to Boerderij, a sister title to Pig Progress, Porc Ex-Breeding director Holger Bøgebjerg Sørensen stated that he is happy with having become the distributor. As the result of a reorganisation of the sales structure of Danish DanAvl, all that would’ve been left for Porc-Ex would be sales agent. For that reason, he has started offering the Canadian genetics line.

Pig Progress: Are Canadian genetics already available to European pig producers?

Bøgebjerg Sørensen: “Most certainly. At Yxia, the French cooperative AI organisation, there are already 25 boars, Landrace and Yorkshire for sow breeding purposes and Duroc terminal sires. Semen production started late last year. I expect that a 2nd shipment of 25 boars will be travelling from Canada to France in early 2017. These boars will be free from Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (App), Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) and mycoplasma. Pig producers can therefore also replace their own sows using Genesus pigs.”

Will you also start breeding F1 sows?

“Sure, we aim to start selling Genesus F1 sows early 2017. We do consider starting a sub-breeding farm in Denmark.”

What is the added value of Genesus pigs?

“In comparison to Danish sows the birth weight is higher; piglets under 800g are rare. This leads to a lower piglet mortality. Piglet mortality is an important social theme which the industry cannot ignore. I think DanAvl continues to focus on litter size without taking the ethical side into account.

“In addition, the gestation time of the Canadian sow is 2-3 days shorter than the Danish DanAvl sows. The advantage is that the lactation period takes longer and that the need for nurse sows is reduced. Nurse sows usually make it difficult to work with a more week system.

“Meat quality of the boars is also fine. Without a doubt, the Duroc terminal sire has proved that at global pork markets all over the world.”

The number of piglets per litter must be lower then?

“True. The piglets of the Canadian sows, however, are more vital and mortality is lower. The sows’ good milk quality have added to significantly higher weaning weights. We have observed this at pig farms all over the globe, including Russia. In that country there are various large farms using these genetics.”

It doesn’t sound like an easy job – obtaining market share in a shrinking market.

“I agree. Nevertheless, I am convinced that it is possible to acquire that share on the European market for pig genetics, having a good product and knowledge of the local market and culture. To be a local partner, we cooperate with daughter companies in various countries. From Canada we receive a lot of support to acquire this position on the European market. In addition, aftersales is well arranged at Genesus. On top, we have experience with finding new markets, that is what we did before with Danish sows.”

What market share for sows is your aim?

“I couldn’t tell you. It’s just too early to say anything about that. We have just begun with Genesus pigs in Europe.”

Almost 1 million piglets for export

The Danish company Porc-Ex consists of 2 parts. Porc-Ex Breeding is the section selling pig genetics, with subsidiaries in various European countries. In addition, there is just plain Porc-Ex, which is a trading business focused on exporting piglets from Denmark. In 2016, the company exported almost 1 million piglets. Most important destinations are Poland, Germany and Italy.

van Dooren
Kees van Dooren Reporter Boerderij