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News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.
on April 19, 2012

EU pig production may drop after sow stall ban

Fewer than half of member states prepared, some saying they'll drop out of business

Pig production in the EU could fall by between 5 percent and 10 percent after the sow stall ban goes into effect on January 1, 2013, according to a report released by the British Pig Exchange.

Fewer than half of EU member states are expected to be fully compliant with the directive, and there are reports of "significant numbers" of producers set to quit the industry because they will be unable or unwilling to comply with the new ban. As a result, said the report, processors and retailers may face substantial price increases. “The latest information confirms that there are many producers who still won’t have complied with the rules by the end of the year, while others will have stopped breeding altogether," said Stephen Howarth, senior analyst for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. “Historically, even small changes in pig production have led to significant shifts in price. With production likely to fall by 5 percent or more, prices could be at least 10 percent higher, possibly more.”

The British Pig Exchange said it's imperative for retailers and processors to ensure contract arrangements that guarantee the supply of pig meat under terms that allow sensible business decisions to be made and for everyone in the supply chain to work towards a sustainable, profitable sector. “Getting this right will demonstrate the integrity of the EU Commission and member states in enforcing legislation that they have agreed, it will demonstrate the integrity of the whole supply chain that it will protect pig welfare and above all it will benefit consumers through the continued supply of high welfare, high quality pork and pork products," said British Pig Exchange Chairman Stewart Houston.

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