Leaders have pulled together up to 10 years of efficiency programmes to help launch a definitive roadmap to improve the environmental credentials of the sector.
Bpex’s report, Advancing Together, sets out the targets the industry needs to hit if it is to reduce its carbon footprint beyond the levels government is calling for.
“We want regulation to be a secondary burden, because we’re already exceeding those standards,” said Nigel Penlington, Bpex environment programme manager and author of the report.
He said the report was the culmination of more than a decade of similar work: “The pig industry has a long history of roadmap type activity, such as its launch of the Road to Recovery in 2002. With this, we wanted to come up with the best solution for both the environment and producers.”
The roadmap covers targets to reduce the industry’s environmental impacts over the next 10 years and incorporates existing efficiency drives, such as the 2-tonne sow scheme.
Stewart Houston, chairman of Bpex, said: “This is typical of our sector that we are launching such a forward-thinking document while the industry is at a point of crisis.
“Pork is well-placed when it comes to the carbon footprint challenge and is already the go-to food for people who want to save the planet, but we’re going to make it better by investing in more of the work we started 10 years ago.
“Our industry targets go beyond the 11% reduction set by government for agriculture in England.”
The launch of the roadmap was welcomed by farming minister Jim Paice: “The English pig industry has demonstrated ambition to meet the challenges it faces, once again showing their leadership and commitment to making our food and farming more sustainable.”
Penlington added one of the aims was to enable full utilisation of everything from the pig. “It’s often said that we can use everything from a pig, except the squeak. But I’m an engineer, and the squeak is energy, so I want to find a use for the squeak.”