BPEX director Mick Sloyan launched a new “Going for Growth” strategy for the organisation at the 2104 Pig & Poultry Fair at Stoneleigh Park.
During the past 15 years, the industry has faced a series of challenges, however, there are clear signs the industry has not only stabilised, but is now expanding. As the industry has changed, so BPEX has needed to change so the strategy has been developed to reflect those changes.
The key to the new strategy is a five point plan:
- Close the gap (narrow the difference in performance between English and competing producers)
- Protect the environment (help producers comply with existing and emerging environmental legislation)
- Enhance Pig Welfare (help producers comply with existing and emerging welfare legislation)
- Encourage Safe and Traceable Pork (support producers and processors in producing safe, traceable finished product)
- Help to Sell More Pork (stimulate the demand for pork through comunication)
“The challenges the industry has faced include a global pig price collapse, animal disease outbreaks, unique welfare legislation and volatile feed costs,” Mr Sloyan said. “These took a terrible toll on the industry with producers and primary processors leaving the business, and for a number of years BPEX pursued the Road to Recovery strategy.
“The time has now come to move on, to build on the progress made and “Go for Growth”. It’s the job of BPEX to use the resources invested by producers and processors through the levy to help the industry maximise opportunities in the next five years.”
Mr Sloyan said the vision contained within the strategy was a growing English pig production and primary processing industry, and that BPEX’s mission was to help English pig production and processing businesses become more competitive and profitable.
BPEX Chairman Stewart Houston said the strategy of differentiating English pork from its main competitors, which the organisation had been pursuing for a number of years, had served producers well.
“However,” he added, “This is the first time for a long time that we’ve been in a settled financial environment. This has allowed us to start looking forward rather than just battling crisis after crisis.
“The position the industry is now in, after years of losing money, has allowed the BPEX board to look at ways of taking the industry to the next level. The primary aims of the strategy will be growing the market, especially for assured pork and pork products, and getting our production costs onto the same level as those of our major competitors.
“Exports are becoming increasingly important to the profitability of producers and processors. This is an area we need to expand. But we remain aware of the threat from exotic and emerging diseases such as PEDv and African Swine Fever. Our first line of defence has to be continued vigilance both on pig units and at our borders.”