Report pinpoints opportunities for pig finishing in Denmark
The Danish pig industry’s ‘Growth Panel’ (Vækstpanel) has just presented a report with recommendations that will help halt the decline of finished pig production in the country, with expectations of creating 5,000 new jobs and boosting export revenues by more than DKK 5 billion (£520m).
The Growth Panel has representation from all stakeholders in the Danish pig industry and its report comes in the wake of a prolonged crisis for the Danish pig sector.
“It’s almost unprecedented that the whole industry is able to agree on how improvements can be made. Our recommendations are not just a list of requirements for action to be taken by other parties, but a recognition that the pig industry has to make significant improvements itself if the trend is to be reversed,” says Karen Hækkerup, the Chair of the ‘Growth Panel’ and Managing Director of the Danish Agriculture & Food Council.
The report includes 32 specific recommendations, 17 of which will require action by the industry itself.
“We’re in the midst of a crisis and it’s not enough to call on others for help,” says Hækkerup. “The Growth Panel has, therefore, trained its focus on how Danish finisher producers and the slaughterhouses can help themselves. Although there are major challenges to be addressed, there is potential for creating more jobs and increasing earnings, but this requires a joint action.”
She continues, “On average, Danish pig producers have lost DKK 35.50 per finished pig since 2000. However, if our government and the pig industry follow the Growth Panel’s recommendations, there is significant potential for growth. But prospects are bleak if the industry fails to take action now. The panel states that if measures are not taken to improve the economy of Danish finisher production, Denmark is set to lose a further 7,500 jobs by 2027.“
The recommendations include calls for better exploitation of economies of scale, development of new types of commercial partnerships and targeting of new market segments for sustainable food products of high quality. The panel also advocates that farmers capitalise on the opportunities offered by the recent government ‘package’ for food and agriculture.
“We have a contribution to make to Danish society as a whole. At a time when there is a need for non-skilled jobs outside major cities, we can play our part. It’s imperative that we take Danish finished pig production to a higher level so that it equates to 2004 levels when it was at its peak,” says Karen Hækkerup.
A Danish version of the report is available here: Flere grise på danske hænder
Members of the ‘Growth Panel’
Karen Hækkerup, Managing Director, Danish Agriculture & Food Council
Ove Thejls, Managing Director, Tican
Claus Fertin, Director, SEGES Pig research Centre
Nicolaj Nørgaard, Director, Danske Svineproducenter (Pig famers’ trade organisation)
Mads Birk Kristoffersen, Director, Landboforeningen Gefion (Advisory service)
Ole Wehlast, Chairman, Fødevareforbundet NNF
Henrik Zobbe, Director, Institute of Food & Economic Resources
Torben André Petersen, Head of Agriculture, Nordea
Søren Dal Thomsen, Managing Director, AP Pension
Benny Laibach Pedersen, Director, Jyske Bank
Kjeld Johannesen, former Managing Director, Danish Crown
Henrik Zobbe, former Director, Institute of Food & Economic Resources