Grave warning to pig sector
PIG producers who have struggled to restructure their businesses are unlikely to benefit fully unless the processing sector follows suit.
The warning was delivered by Mick Sloyan, of the Meat and Livestock Commission, at this weeks Pig and Poultry Fair, Stoneleigh.
He believed that overcapacity in the processing sector would be exacerbated by declining numbers of slaughter stock as the breeding herd contracted.
Inefficiency was adding costs to an industry which was battling against imports of cheap pigmeat from EU competitors, and could not be tolerated.
While major players such as Malton Bacon were operating multi-site businesses, there was still a drive towards specialisation. That would leave many small and medium abattoirs with too little throughput to achieve the required low running costs.
"That is not to say some small plants will not survive. Innovative companies supplying small, local markets will still exist," he added.