Pork production in the UK is on course to achieve its sixth consecutive year of growth by reaching a total of 850,000 metric tons of carcass weight in 2014, says the British Pig Executive (BPEX). Its director, Mick Sloyen, told the 2014 British Pig and Poultry Fair that the expected increase will have been due to a combination of higher carcass weights for finishing pigs and greater productivity at both breeding and grow-out levels.

“Our breeding herd performance was lagging behind other countries and results in the finishing herd such as for daily weight gain were only on a par with those of other parts of Europe. It is a testament to the resilience and commitment of pig producers in this country that there has been considerable re-investment in recent years, with the result that productivity has recovered and we have seen a gradual improvement in slaughtering.”

 “Pig Pocketbook 2014,” published by BPEX, summarizes the statistics for UK productivity and production between 2000 and 2013. In that time the average number of pigs per sow per year has increased from 19.0 to 23.0, boosting the volume of pig meat produced annually per sow from almost 1.35 metric tons to more than 1.8 tons.

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With the average carcase weight up from 75.2.8 kilograms in 2005 to 79.2 kilograms in 2013 and over 1 million more pigs per year sent for slaughter, annual pork production (excluding sow meat) rose in that time from 674,000 metric tons to 796,000 metric tons.