Bpex adopts proactive strategy to tackle pig industry challenges

Bpex launched a new strategy to to deal with challenges facing the Pig industry at the Pig and Poultry Fair.

The ‘Go for Growth’ strategy, set out in a five-point plan by Bpex director Mick Sloyan, aims to “close the gap, protect the environment, enhance pig welfare, encourage safe and traceable pork and 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 maximise opportunities in the next five years.”

At the fair, held at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, Bpex hoped to offer visitors a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the pig industry, providing ‘Growing Your Business’ forums hosted by Bpex staff, including head of technical Andrew Knowles, foodservice sector manager Tony Goodger, and environment and building manager Nigel Penlington. Bpex also demonstrated use of its Practical Pig app and Pig Hub, both being launched next month.

Bpex chairman Stewart Houston highlighted how Bpex planned to help English pig production and processing businesses become more competitive and profitable: “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 forwards, 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 and African Swine Fever. Our first line of defence has to be continued vigilance, both on pig units and at our borders.”

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