Pig and poultry producers are well known for embracing new technology and business tools, and many are planning further investment to ensure a bright future in the years ahead.
With each respective industry anticipating changes, whether regarding labour or import and export regulations, keeping up-to-date is vital for any successful business – and the British Pig & Poultry Fair will help them do just that. “Technology is moving at a fast pace and it is vital that producers remain at the forefront of change,” says Fair organiser, Alice Bell. “Meeting the suppliers of that technology and networking with industry leaders is a perfect opportunity for producers to source what they need to improve.”
In a recent straw poll carried out by the Royal Agricultural Society of England, the vast majority of pig and poultry producers were positive about the future, with 100% planning to invest in their business this year. “There are clearly some challenges ahead, but it’s encouraging that so many farmers are optimistic and embracing the latest technology and advice on offer.”
According to an exit poll at the 2016 Fair, 79% of visitors planned to make changes to their business as a result of their visit – and one farmer who made a truly life changing decision in a previous year is Richard Knox, partner at Tor Pigs, Devon. “When I was looking to move from an outdoor unit to indoors, I met an experienced manager at the Fair who told me to focus on profitability and put in the tried and tested slatted system so I could closely predict performance. If I had not had that conversation, I probably would not be in pigs now – it was a key turning point for me and a worthwhile investment.”
Based on the straw poll, the most common investments this year are likely to be in erecting new or modifying existing buildings. Roger Gent, senior partner at Beedon Common Farm, Berkshire, plans on putting up a new 16,000 bird multi-tier shed this year but is concerned that his flat decks will not comply with Freedom Foods’ perching requirements. “I can’t have the perches above feeders, so I hope to pick up ideas at the Fair to solve this problem.”
It is that collaborative approach, combined with innovation, which is key to the future of the British pig and poultry industries, says Danny Johnson, Head of Commercial at ABN, which is partnering the event. “The British pig and poultry sectors both have a bright future ahead of them. Whether producers are looking to install a completely new system or make small improvements to nutrition, equipment or management practices, they will be able to get it all in one place at the Fair.”
To find out more and register for free entry to the Fair visit www.pigandpoultry.org.uk