Confidence remains low across pig sector

Confidence remains low across the pig producing sector, although there are some positive signs on the horizon, according to the latest Bpex Confidence Survey.

The annual study, which covers 630 people from producers and processors to vets, retailers and civil servants, takes a measure across a number of factors, from capital investment to competitiveness with EU businesses.

According to Bpex, the results revealed producers’ concerns on issues such as profitability and price volatility, which had put them off investing in their businesses.

However, the survey revealed that the competitive outlook for the next 12 months was more optimistic, with an increase in the proportion of people who felt their business would become more competitive in 2012.

Bpex head of communications Andrew Knowles said: “The industry has been going through a difficult time, producers are continuing to tread water, waiting for evidence from supply chain partners of stability and direction, which will give them the confidence to invest for the future and grow their businesses.

“It is good to see the overall view is that the competitive outlook is more optimistic, which is probably tied into the forthcoming EU partial ban on stalls. This will go some way towards creating a more level playing field for the UK and its major European competitors. But the industry must not be distracted by changes in EU welfare legislation and continue to address the fundamental gap that exists, in terms of physical performance between UK and EU average performance.”

The survey also looked at the quality of Bpex services and revealed that satisfaction with the levy body remained high, with 83% of customers rating services as excellent or very good.   

Knowles said: “We have worked hard to try to ensure Bpex services are commercially relevant to our customers and their business and the feedback is encouraging.

“We still have lots more work to do in this area and the recently published Directory of Services is another way for our customers to understand how we can help them.”

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