9 March 2001

Danish networkers hope theyll snare a prosperous future

While UK pig production hits

another crisis, optimism is

obvious within the Danish

pig industry as a result of

buoyant markets, higher

prices, producer networking

and disease reduction.

Hannah Velten reports

NETWORKING between owners within multi-site production systems can cut costs a pig by 10-15% and is predicted to be at the heart of Denmarks competitive future.

Speaking at a Danish Bacon and Meat Council press briefing, Bjarne Pederson of the National Committee for Pig Production (NCPP) outlined Denmarks structural development trends.

"In response to environmental legislation which limits numbers of pigs allowed on one site, producers specialising in breeding, rearing and finishing are beginning to collaborate to benefit from larger throughput, lower transport costs and economies of scale.

"Large batches of uniform-size pigs also attract a premium and moving to a separate site at weaning and again at 30kg allows a break in infectious disease cycles," added Mr Pederson.

"But to be successful, owners within the system need to collaborate closely to optimise pig production, minimise costs and gain profits." Asger Krogsgard, who owns a 650-sow unit and weaner unit on separate sites, supplies batches of 25-27kg weaners to five finishing units within 19 miles of his site.

Working in close contact with finishing units enables the system to run smoothly, he said. "Our collective operation runs on a three-month contract and to cope with the logistics of supplying batches of pigs on exact time scales, delivery plans are drawn up in advance.

"When problems occur, such as disease, or when there is a change in feeding ration, communication is vital between all producers so that management is not compromised.

"Pricing is based on Danske Slagteriers calculated price and an average of the previous four weeks prices, but in future my price may be calculated on performance of weaners in the finishing units," Mr Krogsgard added.

This obviously requires trust between all parties involved, and without good relations the system does not work, he said. &#42

NETWORKING

&#8226 Reduced production costs.

&#8226 Disease control.

&#8226 Needs trust and communication.

Once weaners reach 30kg they are removed to a finishing house on a third site in the Danish multi-site pig production system.