Dear readers,

       We start the year with some good news:

  • Florida State Senator Jay Collins and State Representative Danny Alvarez have submitted legislative proposals taking aim at cultivated meat. The bills, taken up on January 9 when the legislative session restarts, would make it unlawful to „manufacture, sell or deliver, hold or offer for sale ‘cultivated meat’ for human consumption.”
  • A $481,755 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will be used by the University of Idaho to replace its outdated meat science lab with a new facility, equipment and tools. With a new retail store attached, the center will also host technical assistance for meat producers, processors, retailers and related industries. 
  • UK plant based meat imitation sales have declined by £38.4m, while volume is down by 4.2%, while fresh meat was among the fastest-growing sectors, with £352.5M in sales growth.
  • In order to reduce the risk of African Swine Fever outbreaks already present  in neighboring Sweden, Norway wants to preventively eradicate its wild boar population: hunters will receive 355 euros for each female wild boar shot and 266 euros for each male wild boar. Landowners receive 355 euros for each wild boar they find on their plots.

Events calendar:

  • the 55th annual South Dakota Pork Congress, will be held between January 10 and 11 in the exhibit hall of the Sioux Falls Best Western Plus Ramkota.

Another Brick In The Wall

As we can see, most of the recent good news are coming from the US. Maybe also because there is a need to encourage the pig producers. Packers are making profit and getting nice export market shares, but farmers are loosing money. It is one of the reasons for producers to reduce their breeding stock, specifically by 205,000 animals or 3.3%, to 6 million heads, the lowest level in the last nine years. 

ASF represents the highest tread to our industry worldwide. Can we really protect ourselves? In the  UK it is illegal for travelers to bring pork products weighing over 2kg into the country from the EU and European Free Trade Agreement state unless produced to EU commercial standards. According to recent news, only at Dover, authorities have seized more than 57 tons of illegal meat since the order came in. This includes 5.5 tons of illegal meat seized over the weekend before Christmas, alone!

Pig herds are decreasing all over Europe. Dutch slaughterhouses slaughtered approximately 6% fewer pigs last year than in 2022, with an average slaughtered weight of 99.5 kilograms and a meat percentage of 58.9 percent. The weight of the pigs supplied was therefore on average 0.17 kilos higher than in 2022 and the meat percentage was 0.05 percentage points lower.

In the EU we have seen in the last decade an increasing political pressure on the agriculture, in general, especially on animal husbandry. Green parties have been chosen as acceptable governing partners in some countries with strong vertical integration of the pig industry. It is said that giving someone e power will show his real character. The green color become darker and darker. We are facing an attack from the representatives of this political parties. They are loud, strangely well financed, trying to impose a way of life based on ideology, not on science.

In 1989 the Berlin wall, symbolizing the separation of two ideologically different sides of Europe, has been torn down. Today the German agriculture is regulated by a green, vegetarian, Muslim minister. Could he be more opposite to the pig industry? Can we expect real support for our industry? Even more, agriculture faces many challenges and increasing restrictions doubled by growing taxes. Today the German agriculture starts a week of protests, expected to be attended hundreds of thousands of people. Unsurprisingly, most of the German meat industry media outlets are not(or marginally) reflecting the event.

Maybe Berlin will be again the symbol for turning down a wall. It can show that we are still enough to fight back ideology with science and we can be also loud. Animal husbandry is just another brick in the wall…

European pig and piglet prices: HW= Hot weight; L= live weight;

GERMANY2,1 HW73/25 kg 
NETHERLANDS1,98-2,12 HW68,5/25 kg 
BELGIUM1,49 L67/20 kg 
DANEMARK1,68 HW80/30 kg 
FRANCE1,78 HW   
ITALY1,81 L115kg, 2,15 L160kg, DOC120,5/30 kg   
SPAIN1,64 -1,65 L 81-90/20kg 
AUSTRIA2,04 HW94/31 kg 
POLAND1,47-1,75 L78-120/20-30 kgPartner info; no quotation
CROATIA2,0-2,2 HW97-102 / 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SERBIA2,12 L 110-117/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,1 HW69-74/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,73 -1,8 L92-97/25 kgPartner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,72 – 1,92 L92-97/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
ROMANIA1,82 – 2,03 L92-97/25kgPartner info; no quotation

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