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UK Pig Industry May be Lacking Confidence

by 5m Editor
14 April 2009, at 12:26pm

UK - Confidence may be lacking in the English pig industry but there is certainly more optimism for the future than last year.

The results of the latest BPEX confidence survey, which has been running since 2006, have just been analysed. While they show the industry as a whole is not too confident, producers are certainly more optimistic that they will have a better future.

The main points from the survey are:

  • Overall producers confidence index was less than half it was in 2006

  • 34 per cent of producers were, however, optimistic about the future

  • Fewer producers were looking at investing in buildings compared with 2007, though the allied industry sector showed an increase in confidence

  • When looking at reasons for capital expenditure, 23 per cent of producers and 34 per cent of processors says the reason was to comply with environmental legislation

  • All sectors reported improved competitiveness against UK businesses

  • In relation to EU competitors, 42 per cent reported an improvement compared with only 13 per cent in 2007

BPEX Head Supply Chain Development Andrew Knowles said: “One of the key findings was when we looked at the factors likely to limit output and the lack of skilled labour was cited by 13 per cent of producers and 14 per cent of processors. This is something of which the industry is aware and steps are being taken to improve training and attract and retain new staff. It was also gratifying to see the industry generally does use the services provided by BPEX and also values them highly.“

The survey also included a section where those taking part could put forward suggestions for ideas and services BPEX could provide in future.

These included: ‘It would be useful to develop stronger/clearer links between Allied Industry Groups and BPEX to aid how we help producers.’

‘I am a little disappointed in the response to the activity on meat quality.’

‘Increased information on the feed market would be useful going forward.’

‘BPEX should consider funding a recording bureau to give a comparison of farm performance against the rest of the industry.’