Signs of improvement in pig sector confidence

Struggling pig producers and processors are more optimistic about the future than this time last year, according to the latest survey by BPEX.

Overall, the producers’ confidence index was less than half of its 2006 level, but 34% of producers were optimistic about the future. All allied sectors reported improved competitiveness against UK businesses and in relation to EU competitors, 42% reported an improvement, compared with only 13% in 2007.

But the survey revealed that fewer producers were planning to invest in buildings compared with 2007. Of those that were planning some form of capital expenditure, 23% of producers and 34% of processors said the main reason was to comply with environmental legislation.

BPEX head of supply chain development Andrew Knowles said: “One of the key findings was when we looked at the factors likely to limit output and the lack of skilled labour was cited by 13% of producers and 14% of processors.

“This is something of which the industry is aware and steps are being taken to improve training and attract and retain new staff. It was also gratifying to see the industry generally does use the services provided by BPEX and also values them highly.”