The twin priorities of closing the productivity gap between English and EU pig producers and increasing demand for pork, underpin AHDB Pork’s newly published three-year strategy, which has opened for consultation today.
“The strategy is clearly focused on where the levy can add best value collectively for levy payers, with smarter working in conjunction with industry partners, funding groups, research consortia and tapping into the cross sector expertise,” said AHDB Pork Chair, Meryl Ward (pictured above).
“The strategy also looks at how we can make best use of the €2 million funding available for the Pig Innovation Group, as co-ordinated through AHDB to enable us to learn best practice and adopt the brightest ideas from Europe.”
The UK’s new Agritech Centre of Innovation and Excellence for Livestock (CIEL) is also featured, being presented as an opportunity to focus industry R&D priorities, while also addressing the current “substantial differences” between the English and EU industries.
Other strategy points include the potential bringing together of the industry’s currently “fragmented training schemes” to both attract and retain the best staff; to further develop pig health surveillance; to improve pricing mechanisms for pig producers and to continue striving to increase consumption, especially targeting younger consumers.
“Research shows consumers value origin and ethics after price and appearance when considering meat, so AHDB Pork will continue to defend and promote the image and uniqueness of English pig farming on topics such as production systems and antibiotic use,” added Mrs Ward.
“We will also develop the collection and communication of Real Welfare assessment data, further building the industry’s reputation for high welfare across all production systems.”
Consultation on the new strategy runs until January 9, 2017.