Vietnam pig producers were out in force at EuroTier 2012 looking for new products, ideas and expertise to help their country’s local pig enterprises improve and grow.

The delegation included Nguyen Cong Phuong of Japfa Comfeed Long An Ltd., Nguyen Thanh Liem of Proconco and Nguyen Phuong Duy of Proconco, who together represent more than 21,000 sows, two feed mills and a slaughterhouse in Vietnam.

Over lunch during EuroTier in Hanover, Germany, in November, they told Pig International that their pig producers needed Western companies “to come in and help us reduce mortality rates and increase production with better management expertise, veterinary care, health and safety know-how and genetic improvement.” They said that traceability was also becoming increasingly important in Vietnam. In addition, the slaughterhouses needed to be modernized and become more sophisticated.

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“We have four million sows and 28 million pigs in Vietnam, with 65 percent in ‘backyard systems’ and 35 percent in commercial units at the moment, but there is a definite move towards bigger commercial-scale farms at the moment," said the delegation. “We know we need assistance to secure our future in the pig industry.”

The producers, who were the guests of the specialist natural feed additive business Olmix at EuroTier, said there was a high demand for meat in Vietnam and they expected bumper growth in future. However, they said that the country would still have to depend on pork imports for the next few years, while their government developed new policies to help local farming enterprises and encourage sustainability.

At present, Vietnamese consumers are buying frozen pork from China because the fresh, locally produced meat, which they prefer, is more expensive. According tot he delegates, this was due to the cheaper raw materials the Chinese were able to import from the West for processing in China. This was hitting local Vietnamese producers hard, said Thanh Liem, but he said he was confident that the situation would change within a few years, as long as Western countries continued to help Vietnam upgrade its production facilities and supply chain management, as well as its food safety and health status.