“Poland’s pig producers urgently need support”

08-11-2021 | |
Weaning piglets at a farm in the heart of Poland. The country s pig producers are facing various crises simultaneously. - Photo: Ronald Hissink
Weaning piglets at a farm in the heart of Poland. The country s pig producers are facing various crises simultaneously. - Photo: Ronald Hissink

Extraordinary steps should be taken by the Polish government to stop “the disastrous extinguishment of Poland’s pig industry.”

That appeal was made by the Polish Union of Producers and Employers of the Meat Industry (UPEMI). Stating that the crisis in the Polish pig industry got worse in the past few months, UPEMI called on the authorities to take urgent measures to prevent the pig industry from collapse.

In the statement, UPEMI said, “On one hand, there has been a significant drop in prices paid for pigs; on the other, we evidenced a sharp increase in production costs.”

ASF continues to penetrate new areas

UPEMI pointed to ASF, as the viral disease managed to penetrate new areas putting more farmers at a disadvantage. The union explained that farmers whose operations are located in the quarantine zones are only allowed to sell pork within these territories, and in most cases, they have to settle for prices much lower than the market average.

The statement said, “The consequence of this trend may be a permanent collapse of Polish pig production. Farmers who are eliminating herds today will probably not return to pig farming in the future. Thus, Poland will become even more dependent on pork imports. This will have a negative impact not only on farming business but also on processing plants.”

Losses of pig farmers in Poland

Similar comments about the state of the Polish swine industry were recently shared by Witold Choiński, president of the Polish Meat Union, when speaking at the European Future Forum. He said most pig farmers in Poland have been losing money over the last 3 years, and quite a few of them were forced to shut up shop.

The average loss of pig farms producing 10-40 finishing pigs was 235 zloty (€ 51.30) per 100 kg liveweight, he said, while the loss of large breeders was close to 83 zloty (€ 18.10) per 100 kg liveweight. In 2020, 104,000 pig farms were operating in Poland, but the trend is going down, Choiński estimated.

Choiński said, “Until recently, Poland used to be a major pork producer, while now it is the 5th pork importer in the EU. The share of imported piglets is at 40%, which affects food security.” He added that the continuing epidemic of African Swine Fever (ASF) remains one of the main factors to blame for the production fluctuations.

Vorotnikov
Vladislav Vorotnikov Russian correspondent