Confidence may be lacking in the English pig industry but there is certainly more optimism for the future than last year, according to a BPEX news release and the results of the latest BPEX confidence survey, which has been running since 2006.

The main points from the survey are:

  • Overall producers' confidence index was less than half of what it was in 2006
  • 34% 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% of producers and 34% of processors say the reason was to comply with environmental legislation
  • All sectors reported improved competitiveness against UK businesses
  • In relation to EU competitors, 42% reported an improvement compared with only 13% in 2007

Of factors likely to limit output, 13% of producers and 14% of processors, listed skilled labor, said BPEX head of supply chain development Andrew Knowles. "This is something of which the industry is aware and steps are being taken to improve training and attract and retain new staff."