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Pig producers look to the future with confidence

13th Jul 2016 / By Digby Scott

Despite the many uncertainties ahead, British pig producers have a bright future outside the European Union, says the National Pig Association.

British pork has made considerable inroads to world markets over the past two years and NPA is confident this will continue, as a result of British pork's premium characteristics. According to an industry poll this weekend, pig producers voted roughly in line with the rest of the country, with around 54 percent wanting Brexit.

"As an association, we may be sceptical about a bonfire of regulations, but we share our Brexit members' belief in the resilience of our industry and the specialness of its product," said NPA chief executive Dr Zoe Davies today.

Key among British pork's sales assets in global markets, particularly China, are its rigorous safety and regulatory credentials, its high welfare characteristics, and its ability to provide different genetics for different price points ranging from modern indoor production to straw-barns to outdoor-reared and outdoor free-range.

British pork's safety and regulatory credentials are underpinned by regular Red Tractor and RSPCA Assured audits. And its unique welfare proposition includes no castration, no gestation stalls, and independent Real Welfare audits where vets score pigs for welfare indicators.

The British pig industry has also introduced an antibiotic stewardship programme which is expected — when data is available — to show producers are in the process of significantly reducing their use of antibiotics.