Dear readers,

The first week after Easter is also generally a quiet one. Let’s see some good news from this period:

  • The Spanish Costa Group is going to promote a large agro-industrial complex in the town of Villamayor (Zaragoza), where it will invest 469 million euros and which will lead to the creation of 3,200 direct and permanent jobs, to which another 300 must be added during the construction phase and around 2,000 indirect jobs. The future Agri-Food Logistics Center of the Ebro Valley (CLAVE), will become a biotechnological reference at a national level, will also serve as place for implementations linked to the biopharmaceutical sector and the creation of a business ecosystem of activities related to the agro-industrial sector located in the surrounding municipalities. In addition, it will be based on the use of by-products generated in the meat production process to generate new products with high added value.
  • Construction of the only pig slaughter plant in the department of Córdoba in Colombia will take place in the facilities of the former municipal slaughterhouse of Cereté, resulting from the alliance between the Government of Córdoba (Colombia), the Cereté Mayor’s Office and the private sector.
  • The Agriculture Committee of the United States Congress announced that it will present a draft of the United States Farm Bill, due to be updated this year, which will include new language to limit the negative effects of the Proposition 12 of California by limiting ability of entities to impose animal production practices in other territories.
  • Up to half a million dollars per recipient is in the offing for successful applicants for the next round of meat processing industry grants through an Ohio program. The current application round is part of the state’s $14 million program. Upgrading, expanding and adding equipment, technology and operational infrastructure are all eligible projects under the program’s parameters. So far, $28 million has been disbursed through the program, to 128 meat processing operations.
  • Smithfield Foods has introduced a new endowed scholarship program worth $250,000 at the University of Mount Olive (UMO) in North Carolina. Each year, the university intends to grant the Smithfield scholarship to one rising junior and one rising senior as part of a collaborative partnership.

Events calendar:

  • Everything is ready for the opening, on Tuesday, April 9, of the doors of Anuga Select Brasil , which will be held in Sao Paulo until next Thursday, April 11.This fair integrates the food and beverage sector and will have the presence of different actors from the entire supermarket and food service retail production chain.
  • Chinese Grains&Oils Congress will take place in Shanghai, the largest city and financial center of China. China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, USA, countries of South America, countries of Europe and Asia and others interested in cooperation with China in the agricultural sector – countries supplying agricultural products and buyers of Chinese technologies, equipment, machinery and other goods for agriculture farms will be present at the event between 10-12 of April.
  • Danubius Gastro is a renowned trade fair for gastronomy, hotels and the food industry, held annually at the Incheba Exhibition Ground in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The fair will take place on 4 days from Thursday, 11 of April to Sunday, 14 of April.

Bitter Taste

            While the U.S. shows political will to counter the animal welfare and climate activists on legislative level, in Europe we will have to wait for the outcome of the EU parliamentary elections to see if the protests of the farmers in the beginning of the year will determine a reduction of the “dark-green” politics.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., police have been called to a Norfolk abattoir where anti-meat demonstrators protest above one of the slaughterhouses, occupying an elevated area in one of the buildings. Should pro-meat activism appear and raise awareness in the same way?

In the east of Europe the dissociation of the prices in comparison to the main markets continues. Having the support of the short working days, slaughterhouses reduced the purchasing price of the pigs for three weeks in a row. The explanation: there is a very slow meat market, it is no consumption. While this can be the case in a lower income region, I do not see the reduced price applied by the retail chains. For me, reducing prices without increasing sales is a mistake. The good weather and the upcoming European Football Championship will ask for more meat and the slaughterhouses will be in a very difficult situation due to the current policy and will ask for “solidarity”. All this gives me a bitter taste…

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 
FRANCE2,031 HW    
ITALY1,75 L115kg,
2,12 L160kg,
144,9/30 kg    
SPAIN1,75 – 1,81 L 91-115/20kg 
PORTUGAL2,53 HW      
AUSTRIA2,16 HW106/31 kg 
POLAND1,49 – 1,74 L91-136/20-30 kgPartner info; no quotation
CROATIA2,05 – 2,15 HW106-115/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
SERBIA2 L120-130/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,13 – 2,17 HW 70-76/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,65 -1,70 L 107-113/25 kg Partner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,67 – 1,77 L 107-113/25 kg Partner info; no quotation
ROMANIA1,67 – 1,71 L 107-117/25 kg Partner info; no quotation

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