By Peter Crichton

NEWS that BOCM Pauls has acquired Suffolk-based Porcofram Marketing is only part of a major shake-up of the fragmented UK pig marketing system.

The new set up will handle about 2 million finished pigs per annum equivalent to 15% of the UK total, said Jonathan Farnhill, BOCM marketing and development director.

This leaves UPB Porcofram with their pig breeding and AI centre as all that remains of the original farmer owned co-operative. This will continue to trade within the UK as Premier Genetics.

Producers and abattoirs have generally been receptive to the BOCM move and believe that larger marketing groups should have more clout at the procurement end.

In the slaughtering sector there has also been general support for the merger in the belief that this will lead to better long term supply arrangements in a period when UK pig numbers are forecast to crash.

This take-over follows a number of other similar mergers and more are believed to be on the cards.

One prime candidates is Dalgety who like BOCM Pauls has pulled out of live pig production and is concentrating on compounding and marketing.

Trade sources are quoted that it is only a matter of time before Dalgety finds itself under the ABN wing and becomes part of the Gary Westons giant cereal industries conglomerate.

ABN already own Allied Pig Marketing, formerly the Pig Marketing Company and BQP who put over 10,000 pigs per week through their own abattoir.

But a tie-up between ABN and Dalgety would pose an interesting problem for the Glanbia (Avonmore) buying group arrangements set up in February.

This would see Glanbia sourcing a number of pigs through a marketing group owned by ABN who also run a major competing abattoir.

  • Peter Crichton is a Suffolk-based pig farmer offering independent valuation and consultancy services to the UK pig industry