Costs top of discussion at fair

Grain prices and risk management are just two of the topics set to fuel the headline feed debate at the British Pig and Poultry Fair 2008 on 13-14 May.

The debate, part of a new forum programme led by Fair partner ABN, promises lively discussion between all members of the pig and poultry supply chain.

It will include viewpoints from key industry experts and aims to help producers understand the volatility of the world feed market, as well as considering trends in consumer behaviour in light of rising food prices.

NFU chief poultry advisor Robert Newbery said: "There is now an even greater need for efficient production, processing and distribution throughout the supply chain. This, coupled with clear communication and understanding of costs can result in a better price and, subsequently, profitability and a sustainable future.

"There has to be a greater understanding of the implications on the whole supply chain," Newbery added. "If costs of production are not met, quality domestic product will not be available to the consumer in the future.

"Pig and poultry producers should consider planning ahead, to help secure feed supplies and minimise vulnerability to market conditions," he advised. "By looking ahead when buying feed, farmers can allow for market conditions and price trends, which make them better-placed to negotiate with customers in the future. In this respect, farmers can take a lesson from the feed millers themselves."

Ian Campbell of the National Pig Association agreed that current market volatility means it was an unpredictable time for many, particularly for those in the pig industry.

"The British Pig and Poultry Fair will be a good opportunity to seek latest advice and information and look at farm inputs and outputs. If producers record what's happening and have got their fingers on the pulse, they are better placed to make good business decisions."

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