Scope to increase British herd

Increasing demand for home-produced pork could provide an opportunity to increase the British pig herd back to the levels of two to three decades ago, the sales and marketing director of Cranswick Country Foods, Jim Brisby, told delegates at the 2013 JSR Farming Conference at York on September 10.

Expanding on his statement to Pig World, he said the pig supply was under pressure following moves from retailers like Sainsbury’s and Aldi to source 100% of their fresh pork from British farmers.

“Sainsbury’s decision meant them sourcing an additional 15,000 pigs a week from British suppliers,” Mr Brisby said, “and these pigs weren’t spares!”

He also suggested that it was time to react to the increasing demand and to move production forward, helped by more creative thinking on contracts.

“This is about putting commercially viable propositions to the retailers that will also appeal to consumers,” Mr Brisby said. “There’s an opportunity for more sustainable contracts that would help them manage and organise supply chains. There’s a real prospect of five- to 10-year contracts with retailers that would give producers a much-needed incentive to invest.”

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