Dear readers,

In preparation for Easter many good things occur in our industry:

  • An 62-year-old man with end-stage renal failure is recovering well, after receiving a pig kidney taken from a miniature pig carrying 69 genomic edits, aimed at preventing rejection of the donated organ. The surgery took place at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • Thomas Dosch, Head of Public Affairs of the Tönnies Group, stated: “It will not be possible to impose our animal husbandry priorities on other countries and cultures with a colonial habitus. Livestock farming will increase worldwide in the next few decades and will have to make its contribution to feeding a growing global population. “
  • A study conducted by researchers from the University of Bonn and TU Munich examined the effectiveness of animal welfare labels and banners in influencing consumer behavior regarding meat purchases. The study revealed that these measures had minimal impact on shoppers’ choices.
  • Dutch pig farmers will have a better negotiating position with Vion: contracts will no longer be adjusted unilaterally in the future. In addition, companies can reject new contracts or contract conditions without Vion being able to make use of the option to terminate the existing contract immediately.
  • The Labour Party, credited with the first chance to win the upcoming UK   elections, provided it’s approach to the  food policy: asking people to reduce their meat consumption was off the table with the party having “no intention of directing people to eat less meat” nor any plans to introduce a meat tax.
  • The number of Americans who describe themselves as meat eaters (80%) and the number of households that purchase meat (98%) remain steady from 2023, while the number seeking to decrease meat consumption has fallen by 20% since 2020, according to the 19th annual Power of Meat report released by the Meat Institute and The Food Industry Association.
  • Officials in Indiana are launching the first loan program designed to help small and very small processors meet the increasing demand for meat products. The Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP) will provide $15 million as part of a revolving loan program to help meat and poultry packers expand their businesses to meet consumer interest. The loan, available for up to a 15-year terms, include a 3% interest rate for scalable loans from $100,000 to a maximum of $5 million and a 2% interest rate for wastewater projects.
  • USDA recently agreed to buy an additional 15.000 tons of pork products for distribution through a variety of federal food programs. The purchase of $78.6 million worth of pork through Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1935 follows as similar pork purchase totaling $25 million earlier this year, to  encourage domestic consumption of products by distributing them away from the standard channels of trade and commerce.

Events calendar:

  • G4Media, one of the most respected media groups in Romania, is organizing on 26 March 2024, at the Sheraton Hotel in Bucharest the conference „The Taste of Profitable Ideas in the Agri-Food Industry”, an event during which it launches the new publication G4Food. See you there!

Back In The Game!

The U.S. National Pork Producers Council, while appreciates the USDA message in support of pork consumption, notes that  producers lost an average of $30 for each hog marketed in 2023. We hear in Europe voices from the industry complaining about losing competitiveness on the Asian markets…my dear farmers, would you “donate” 30€ per pig to compete  with the Amerika’s?

And if it is not enough, The European Parliament approved new rules to reduce emissions from industrial facilities and large pig and poultry farms. Agricultural organizations have lobbied hard to remove farmers from the regulations, but Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of revising the so-called Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).The new standards will make it mandatory to set the strictest possible emissions levels, with it being mandatory to establish environmental performance objectives for water consumption. Parliament agreed to extend measures against IEDs to pig farms with more than 350 livestock units, equivalent to about 1,100 adult pigs and 700 sows.The current directive from 2010 already covered pig farms with more than 2,000 pigs and 750 sows. The law must now also be adopted by the Council, before being published in the EU Official Journal and coming into force 20 days later. Member States will then have 22 months to comply with this directive…

     And let’s not forget about African Swine Fever! After a meeting held at the Ministry of Health in Rome, the Copagri association complained that so far there were no signs that ASF had at least been stopped. The Cia Agricoltori association has asked the Minister of Agriculture to hand over control of the wild boar population to the forestry and field unit of the Carabinieris, an army unit with police.

     In the East of Europe live pig prices decreased, even the German quotation remained stable. There are some general conditions providing the opportunity to the slaughterhouses to do this: two short working weeks put pressure on the farmers to empty their stables. Also, at the end of the month, purchasing power of the people is weak. Nevertheless, grilling season still awaits. On the other hand, with the current piglet price bonuses, replacement of the slaughtered pigs will mean a huge effort for the net importer area. The only way is to increase pig prices. After Easter farmers are back in the game!

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

GERMANY2,20 HW85/25 kg 
NETHERLANDS1,95-2,22 HW80/25 kg  
BELGIUM1,58 L81/20 kg  
DANEMARK1,65 HW93/30 kg 
FRANCE2,03 HW    
ITALY1,76 L115kg, 2,11 L160kg, DOC 141,2/30 kg    
SPAIN1,74 – 1,80 L 91-115/20kg  
AUSTRIA2,16 HW106/31 kg 
POLAND1,44 – 1,86 L91-136/20-30 kgPartner info; no quotation
CROATIA2,05 – 2,15 HW106-115/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
SERBIA2,05 L120-130/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,13 – 2,17 HW 70-76/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,7 -1,75 L 107-113/25 kg Partner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,7 – 1,81 L 107-113/25 kg Partner info; no quotation
ROMANIA1,71 – 1,81 L 107-117/25 kg Partner info; no quotation

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