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Another Perspective

It has been announced that a further £2.7 million is to be spent on the next phase of the pulled pork campaign on behalf of beleaguered pig farmers. Any help is of course to be welcomed and appreciated. To understand the impact of this campaign so far I have tried to get a clear perspective because there so many ways that statistics can be used.

Reported on the AHDB Website, Defra’s total clean slaughtering’s for 2014 totalled 8.638 Million Pigs at an average carcass weight of 80.60kg. The average price difference in 2014 compared to 2013 was (2013 162.48p/kg 2014 156.86p/kg) minus 5.62 pence/kg. This represents an income loss to pig producers, year on year, of £39 million in 2014. As yet the clean slaughtering’s for 2015 are not published however, the average carcass weight of 81.04kg and the price difference (2014 156.86p/kg 2015 131.20p/kg) of a further minus 25.66 pence/kg are available online at AHDB. Against the same number of slaughtering’s for the previous year, the loss to pig producers for 2015 will be in the region of £180 million.

If for example (or supposing), there are 500 breeding producers in the UK, this loss equates to an average loss per producer of £360,000. Each of these 500 producers will have approximately 900 sows (set against the last available census figures) and each sow and her progeny will require in the region of 4.5 tonnes of feed. This is over 2 million tonnes of feed which divided into the £180m loss represents an overall reduction of £90.00/tonne of feed if producers are to totally mitigate this loss. I believe that there may be more producers and possibly a slighter lower average herd size but I think the picture is clear.

In 2015 AHDB reported that for every promotional pound spent on the pulled pork campaign over £7.00 of additional sales of pork were achieved. The extra sales were worth £7.8 million. Which means that the pulled pork campaign reduced the overall average loss to individual producers by 4.0% or as much as £14,000 depending on any mitigation gained from reduced feed prices. That is something in the region of the cost of 60 tonnes of feed, a little under one week’s deliveries.

The conundrum to be considered is this. AHDB Pork is not just responsible as a promotional representative it has a Knowledge Transfer (KT) Team with funding for improving productivity which must, by definition, increase supply. Improved supply and campaign driven demand should be working together in this arrangement and yet in the last two years the price of a carcass kilogram of pig meat has reduced by almost 20%. The global perspective has to be considered in terms of the pig price but so do does the fact that we are far from self-sufficient as a nation.

The Price information is on the Solutions page of the website under Useful Stuff

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