Dear readers,

Traditionally meat consumption is increasing in Europe after the tourist season starts, until than let’s look for some good news:

  • A high school in U.S.A. Kentucky County will introduce a new meat-processing facility to their agriculture pathway program to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of food preservation and food science. The necessary equipment is already ordered.
  •  Northcentral Technical College in Wisconsin, U.S.A., announced its Pasture to Plate Butchery program, which will train “the next generation of meat processors.”
  • A new 2,200-square-meter, $5.6 million Swine Research Center at Kentland Farm, Virginia, U.S.A., marks a significant milestone, promising to amplify economic growth and scientific discovery within the industry. The  state-of-the-art facility is tailor-made for small-scale swine production and cutting-edge research, with modern classrooms and specialized housing facilities.
  • Plant-based meat and seafood sales declined in 2023 for the second year in a row, according to the Good Food Institute’s State of the Industry report. Retail plant-based food dollar sales were $8.1 billion in 2023, a slight decline from $8.2 billion in 2022, indicating that plant-based foods are still falling short on consumer expectations of taste, texture and affordability. 
  • The consumption of meat and pork products in the Spanish market has grown in 2023 to reach 1.01 million tons, which represents an increase of 1.5% compared to the same period of the year above, according to reports prepared by the Interprofessional INTERPORC based on data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) and the National Institute of Statistics.

Events calendar:

  • The NIMEATech (Nigeria Meat Tech Expo) is a leading trade fair focusing on the meat industry in Nigeria. It takes place at the International Conference Centre in Ibadan, on 3 days from Tuesday, 30 of April to Thursday, 02 of May
  • The XII World Ham Congress (CMJ) will take place on June 5-7, 2024 in the central pavilion of the Zafra Fairgrounds in Badajoz, Spain.
  • One of the most important fairs in our region, the Hungarian Great Plain Animal Husbandry and Agricultural Days Exhibition and Fair, will be organized  on 2-4 of May 2024 (Thursday through Saturday), at the Exhibition Showground of Hód-Mezőgazda Zrt., in Hódmezővásárhely, Hungary.


            The downturn of the pig production in Europe is already a long process. Except Spain, all important pig producing countries report lower numbers every year.

The Italian pork industry also has shown a decreasing trend in the last 5 years. In 2019, Italy recorded the slaughter of 15.77 million pigs, a figure that decreased to 13.17 million in 2023, a drop of 16.49%. At the same time, pork production also decreased from 1,448 thousand tons in 2019 to 1,210 thousand tons in 2023. While Italy is also one of the top pork meat consuming countries, the lost volumes are compensated by imports. On the top 10 countries from which imports come is Germany, contributing with 283,099 tons, 27.44% of total Italian imports. Spain follows with 273,014 tons, 26.46% of the total. Other major suppliers include the Netherlands, with 161,534 tons (15.66%), Denmark with 98,219 tons (9.52%) and France with 79,422 tons (7.70%). Countries such as Austria, Belgium, Poland, Hungary and Switzerland complete the list, each contributing less than 5% of the total, but together they add up to a considerable part of the Italian import market.

The reduction in pig census is more and more obvious for the industry, but reactions may vary. The strangest development is this weeks price movement in the Danish Crown supply chain. While the piglet price is one of the highest in Europe and the company just announced the intention to link more piglet producers to the company, the slaughter pig reference price , which was, anyway the lowest in Europe, has been reduced with 5 cents. How can this support the good cooperation between the parties? Meanwhile the competitor Tican(part of Tönnies) maintained the reference price from the previous week.

In the U.K. discount retailer Lidl has announced a new £500 million commitment to the British pork sector, including new pig contracts linked to cost of production, according to local media reports.

As part of its new Lidl Pork Standard, the retailer has moved pork producers to an “open-book” producer costing model that includes the on-farm cost of production, guarantees minimum producer volumes and includes a fixed margin for farmers. According to the retailer, this change was developed in collaboration with pork producers through its newly created ‘Lidl Pork Producer Group’, as the retailer recognized the need for a more sustainable pricing model within the pork sector for suppliers and farmers. The new arrangements involve a partnership with two of the country’s biggest pork processors, Cranswick and Pilgrim’s UK and new approach to pork contracts, ahead of planned new Government regulation that will oversee contracts in the pork supply chain. It is not the first time that pig producers ask prices above the production cost, usually without to much success. For many years the retail chains had increased the sales price of the meat, regardless to the production cost. Last year there was a significant change in the market, pig producers realized the reduced volumes on the market and managed to significantly increase prices in all the markets. Now, suddenly, the retail wants “open books”. Isn’t this ironic?

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

GERMANY2,20 HW85/25 kg 
NETHERLANDS1,91-2,22 HW 80/25 kg 
BELGIUM1,58 L78/20 kg  
DANEMARK1,61-1,65 HW 93/30 kg 
FRANCE2,031 HW    
ITALY1,68 L115kg, 2,05 L160kg, DOC     146,5/30 kg   
SPAIN1,75 – 1,81 L 91-111/20kg 
AUSTRIA2,16 HW108,5/31 kg  
POLAND1,5 – 1,85 L92-137/20-30 kgPartner info; no quotation
CROATIA2,05 – 2,15 HW106-115/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
SERBIA2,1 L 120-130/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,13 – 2,17 HW 70-76/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,6 -1,67 L 107-113/25 kg Partner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,68 – 1,79 L 107-113/25 kg Partner info; no quotation
ROMANIA1,61 – 1,71 L 107-117/25 kg Partner info; no quotation

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