Dear readers,

Let’s start the week with good news:

  •  Rastros company in Ecuador is preparing the construction of a slaughterhouse with an investment of 19 million euros. The plant is expected to slaughter between 80 and 60 heads of cattle and pigs hourly.
  • Cabaña Argentina in Buenos Aires district has announced the reconstruction of its  pig slaughterhouse, destroyed by a fire. The investment of 40 million euros will cover the rebuilding the plant from scratch, equipping it with cutting-edge machinery. The new slaughterhouse  will have a work capacity that doubles the company’s production, reaching 50,000 pigs per month.
  • Tyson Foods U.S.A. has opened a new, $355-million bacon facility in Kentucky. The 37,000-square-meter plant will produce 900 tons a week of bacon for retail and foodservice and will employ nearly 450 workers. Tyson partnered with Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College to offer technical training to workers, including a robotics lab.
  • After Vion recently announced the closure of its pig slaughterhouse in Emstek, Germany, a buyer has been found for the location. Kadri Bytyci, who is based in the Cloppenburg district, has bought the plant. Bytyci operates in logistics and restauration and currently does not want to provide any information about the possible use of the complex. Vion management said that the slaughter in Emstek should end by the end of March, but rerouting of the pigs goes fast and the slaughter operation could end much earlier.

Events calendar:

  • The Illinois Pork Expo is an annual event held on January 30, 2024, at the BOS Center in Springfield. The exhibition is held to showcase the outstanding producers and businesses of the industry in one centralized location.
  • The Source Trade Show will take place on 2 days from Tuesday, 06. February to Wednesday, 07. February 2024 in Exeter, U.K., at the Westpoint Arena & Exhibition Centre. The event provides a platform for professionals in the food and hospitality and is distinguished by its diversity of exhibitors, presenting both local specialties and international products.
  • Fine Food Poland will take place on 2 days from Friday, 02. February to Saturday, 03. February 2024 in Warsaw, in the DTBJ Warsaw Exhibition Center. International producers and local suppliers present food and beverages, food machinery and technologies.


                   Again, we get good news from the U.S. meat industry. New, high value investments, with huge throughput volumes. But the farmers side provides different results: according to the University of Iowa, full cycle farms suffered losses of $37.16/head in December 2023, and of the last 14 months, only the months of July and August 2023 were positive for American pig producers.

                   Thigs are similar is some E.U. countries also, even the reasons may be different.

Belgian farmers could submit an application file in the second call to participate in the support scheme that was developed for the voluntary closure of pig stables. With 340 pig farmers, the number of applications during the second call is higher than after the first call in June 2023, when 236 application files were submitted. Market conditions improved, export to China could start again, but overproduction needs constant export volumes and the green policies ask for high investments.

We are facing also the pressure of the retail chains on the meat prices, slaughterhouses been caught in the middle between the buyers and the farmers becoming more and more aware of the lowering supply of pigs. “The four largest food companies: Edeka, Rewe, Lidl and Aldi control 85 percent of the food market in Germany. With this market power, they were able to raise food prices without adequately passing on the proceeds to their suppliers in the food chain,” says agricultural expert Reinhild Benning.

As if this would not be enough, until February 9, 2024 sow farmers must submit conversion concepts for their breeding center to the responsible veterinary offices or authorities, according to the Animal Welfare and Farm Animal Husbandry Ordinance. As an alternative to converting the breeding center, pig farmers who want to stop producing piglets must declare in writing and bindingly that they will stop keeping sows within the same period of time. The exit for these companies is set for February 9, 2026. All this happens in the country that was leading the E.U. pig industry for decades…

If you read the German meat industry related media, it seams that no one eats natural red meat anymore.

            Kind reminder: in the E.U. we were following a hype that started in the U.S.: let’s go to vegan and cultivated meat alternatives. Why does Tyson invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a bacon plant? Because the hype is over, people return to real meat!

            Meanwhile the E.U. is unable to decide the way. A coalition of 12 EU countries led by Italy, France and Austria, have  asked the European Union to reconsider the bloc’s regulatory approval process for novel foods, and to add additional investigations into cultivated meat before the EU Food Safety Authority makes a decision about the products: “These practices represent a threat to primary farm-based approaches and genuine food production methods that are at the very heart of the European farming model,” the delegates wrote in a letter to the Council of Ministers.The group has asked the EU to launch a broad public consultation period and conduct an impact assessment. The group also asked the governing body to establish clear labeling guidelines that would prohibit the use of „meat” terms on meat and dairy analogues. Other European nations, including Germany, The Netherlands and Spain, have funded cultivated meat and promoted the sector in their organizational plans as a means to boost the economy and address environmental sustainability concerns. As a result, the last EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting turned into a chaos regarding the regulations.

            Speaking about cultivated meat: the cells will be collected from some pigs that had a genetic background. Will the producer pay for the genetic improvement ? How could be the mechanism fixed?

                        Last week the agriculture related protest extended trough the E.U. Besides road blocks, French protesters set fire to trucks transporting agricultural products of foreign origin, meat included. The consequences of the “New Green Deal” really brought Europe on flames!

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

GERMANY2 HW73/25 kg 
NETHERLANDS1,79-1,88 HW69,5/25 kg 
BELGIUM1,42 L67/20 kg 
DANEMARK1,58 HW80/30 kg 
FRANCE1,78 HW   
ITALY1,73 L115kg, 2,07 L160kg, DOC126/30 kg   
SPAIN1,64 -1,65 L 84-93/20kg 
AUSTRIA1.97 HW94/31 kg 
POLAND1,3-1,71 L77-119/20-30 kgPartner info; no quotation
CROATIA1,9-2 HW97-102 / 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SERBIA1.84 L 110-117/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,02 HW69-74/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,55 -1,65 L92-97/25 kgPartner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,55 – 1,68 L92-97/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
ROMANIA1,6 – 1,67 L92-97/25kgPartner info; no quotation

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