Blueprint for pig industry

A "blueprint" for the pork supply chain which brings together the best practice aspects of pig production, processing and marketing has been the outcome of a wide-ranging survey invol-ving producers, processors, marketeers, co-operatives and retailers throughout the UK and on the Continent.

A "blueprint" for the pork supply chain which brings together the best practice aspects of pig production, processing and marketing has been the outcome of a wide-ranging survey invol-ving producers, processors, marketeers, co-operatives and retailers throughout the UK and on the Continent.

The project was instigated four years ago by Suffolk-based pig marketing company, Porcofram, supp-orted by Defra funding initially with the colla-boration of major pig processor, Glanbia.

This company was later bought by Flagship Foods and then by Tulip in 2004.

It set out to examine pig marketing strategies within mainland Europe with special reference to successful collaboration between farming businesses and processors.


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"What is radical and different about this project is the development of a successful supply chain into which those involved seek to take all the areas of industry best practice and put them together in one integrated approach to minimising cost and maximising efficiency," said Tony Suckling, of Porcofram.

Farm audits carried out on a number of producer farms in the UK showed that while many ran well diversified farming businesses, most operated independently and did not benefit from the economies of scale and collaboration in European supply chain structures.

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It was clear that opportunities for supply chain improvement do exist and many can be adapted and applied to the UK market.

Key points include:

Establishment of joint producer/veterinary groups to share information and adopt common approaches.

Standardisation of feed supply and formulation.

Development of whole chain best practice for transport, handling and lairaging to minimise stress to pigs pre-slaughter.

Compilation of a producer database to enable full understanding and fast searching of the supply base.

Staff training.

As part of the Tulip

supply chain, selected groups will now focus on current and emerging issues and opportunities in genetics, feed, housing, meat quality, environmental impact,

novel products and transferable new ideas and technologies from outside the pig industry.

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