A new strategy was launched by British Pig Executive (BPEX) Director Mick Sloyan at the Pig and Poultry Fair at Stoneleigh Park, UK. Over the last 15 years, the industry has faced a series of challenges, however, there are clear signs the industry has not only stabilized but is now expanding.
As the industry has changed, BPEX has needed to change so the strategy has been developed to reflect those changes.
The key is the five-point plan to:
- Close the gap
- Protect the environment
- Enhance pig welfare
- Encourage safe and traceable pork
- Help to sell more pork
Sloyan said: “The challenges the industry has faced include a global pig price collapse, animal disease outbreaks, unique welfare legislation and volatile feed costs. These took a terrible toll on the industry with producers and primary processors leaving the business. For a number of years BPEX pursued the Road to Recovery strategy. The time has now come to move on, to build on the progress made and go for growth. It is the job of BPEX to use the resources invested by producers and processors through the levy to help the industry maximize opportunities in the next five years.”
The vision contained within the strategy is “a growing English pig production and primary processing industry.” The BPEX mission is “to help English pig production and processing businesses become more competitive and profitable.”
BPEX Chairman Stewart Houston said: “The strategy of differentiating us from our main competitors, which we have been pursuing for a number of years, has served us well. However, this is the first time for a long time that we have been in a settled financial environment. This has allowed us to start looking forward rather than just battling crisis after crisis. The position the industry is now in, after years of losing money, has allowed the BPEX board to look at ways of taking the industry to the next level.
“The primary aims of the strategy will be growing the market, especially for assured pork and pork products, and getting our production costs onto the same level as those of our major competitors.
“Exports are becoming increasingly important to the profitability of producers and processors. This is an area we need to expand. But we remain aware of the threat from exotic and emerging diseases such as PEDv (porcine epidemic diarrhea virus) and African swine fever. Our first line of defense has to be continued vigilance both on pig units and at our borders.”