In this issue
Latest Feed Info
The world continues to have economic concerns, stemming partly from Greece, which has led to investors liquidating some of their bought commodity positions. Meanwhile, CBOT wheat futures fell as low as $229/t on Monday, before Tuesday’s trading buoyed prices to close at $235/t. Due to the tight market conditions in maize, the fall in the price of wheat has encouraged importers such as South Korea to buy feed wheat as a substitute for maize in the livestock sector.
Click here for more feed information.
Latest Link Updates
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BPEX Weekly: 01 July 2011
Simon Brookes, of BPEX, is pictured presenting the Best Pork/Pigmeat Product at the Meat Management Awards.
It was won by Ocado.com for a British Pork Belly Roasting Joint and Sandra Ziles of Ocado.com together with Steve Leyman of Ensors, the manufacturers of the product, accepted the award.
They also won the Best Red Meat Product for the same product – the sponsor of this award category was Digi Europe.
Pork Buying Reminder
Following the publication of government buying standards for red meat, BPEX will be writing to all government departments and their catering service contractors.
The aim is to remind them of the importance of buying pork and pork products which have been produced to UK standards. It is hoped to have the letters sent and replies in before the summer recess next month.
Quarterly Report Published
The latest BPEX quarterly report on the market for pork and pork products shows overall household expenditure was down, mostly due to promotions by retailers.
The report, produced by the Consumer Insight section of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, takes a wide look at the retail market and how it has performed over the last three months.
It includes a breakdown of how different retailers have performed in terms of both volume and value for fresh pork, bacon and sausages and ham.
BPEX Head of Marketing Chris Lamb said: “Pork continues to be the best performing protein showing overall growth of two per cent over the quarter.
“Shoulder roasting joints are still showing excellent growth in both volume and value while sausages were showing still stronger growth due to the excellent weather over Easter and the Royal Wedding.”
The BPEX Quarterly Report is available to download from the latest news section on the BPEX website.
Tip of the Week: Text Alerts
This service covers a wide range of issues important to producers. It means you can receive free text message alerts on your mobile phone in the case of a disease outbreak, to inform you of current situations in the industry, remind you of BPEX events in your area and alert you when new literature is produced.
Signing up is easy, simply fill in the form on the website by clicking here.
Health Scheme is Free
1 July is finally here, meaning that all assured producers in England can now register for the National Pig Health Improvement Project (PHIP) and receive free BPEX Pig Health Scheme (BPHS) reports as an added perk!
BPHS provides members with detailed carcase health data, collected by specialist vets when they submit their pigs to participating abattoirs. BPEX regional health co-ordinator Helen Clarke said: “The health report sent back to producers gives them a picture of their overall herd health which they can then discuss with their vet and tackle any issues promptly.
“It includes sub-clinical disease which is not always easy to spot on farm, but still affects performance. That’s why we want to make it easy for producers to become members of BPHS and to use it to inform what they do on farm as part of the BPEX Pig Health Improvement Project (PHIP).
The national health programme will build on the foundations laid by Yorkshire Humberside Health, Eastern Pig Health (EPH) and East Midlands Pig Health (EMPH), resulting in all schemes eventually becoming one.
All assured producers in England will shortly receive a mailing telling them how to join both schemes. Visit www.pighealth.org.uk for more information.
The latest surveillance report from the VLA can now be viewed on the BPEX website by clicking here.
These reports aim to identify emerging animal disease related threats. Their production is underpinned by a large amount of surveillance data and information compiled as part of the Defra Food and Farming Group animal disease surveillance programme. Highlights from the first quarter include:
Development Scheme Open
Applications for the second BPEX Professional Manager Development Scheme which will start in January open today! On successful completion, participants will achieve an Institute of Leadership and Management Certificate in First Line Management.
The 10 training sessions will involve an evening discussion with an allied industry company, followed by a day of management training delivered by Cedar Associates. Each week for the next couple of months BPEX Weekly will briefly outline the content of each module, this week it’s Part 3 – Leading the Team. Following this session, participants will be better able to:
For more details about the scheme or if you would like to discuss the course and funding available, contact Tess Howe or visit the training area of the BPEX website.
Swine Dysentery Meeting
Following the success of the recent Swine Dysentery meeting held in Newbury where more than 50 people representing marketing groups, livestock hauliers, abattoirs, vets and pig farmers attended, another meeting will be taking place on 19 July for producers who could not make it to the Newbury meeting.
The SW TB Farm Advisory Service is hoping to run some biosecurity training events over the summer, but until they have an idea of numbers likely to attend specific details cannot be confirmed.
If you’d be interested in attending such an event, presuming the location and timing were convenient, call or email Paul Davenport 020 7238 6735 and let him know where you are based.
If you would be able to host an event he would also like to hear from you. For more details about the SW TB Farm Advisory Service click here.
Focus on Health
The next BPEX 2TS regional conferences are taking place on 17-19 October, with a focus on health, make a note in your diary today!
Latest BPHS Dates
New assessment dates for July to December 2011 in all participating abattoirs have been published and are available on the BPEX website.
Funding for Women
Five hundred women working in land-based industries across the UK will continue to benefit from Lantra’s Women and Work 2011-12 Funding Project, as it has been extended for a fifth year.
Women and Work has already helped 1212 businesses and 3,250 women to increase their skills in industries where women are under-represented.
Not only that, for the first time ever, this project is open to women from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and those who have already participated in the project will be able to re-apply for a second wave of funding to develop their skills even further.
Open Farm Sunday Success
Thousands of people made it out onto farms on 12th June for Leaf’s Open Farm Sunday and had a very enjoyable day.
Visitors learned new things about food, farming and the countryside, reaching out to discover more about what farmers do.
Much fun was to be had with tractor and trailer rides, farm walks and talks, demonstrations and activities for all the family.
Already Leaf is getting entries for the photography competition and some great feedback through the online questionnaire and twitter.
Don't forget the date for next year's Open Farm Sunday is 17 June 2012.
Click here for more. http://www.farmsunday.org/ofs/about/2011.eb
Chinese Market Opens
The Chinese market is finally opening to British pork after years of negotiations.
Half a dozen UK plants have been approved following inspections and export health certificates have been agreed.
A formal announcement was made at a summit when the Chinese premier visited the UK and the trade could be worth £40 million a year.
BPEX has been working closely with Defra, the UKTI team at the British Embassy in Beijing and the China Britain Business Council to achieve accreditation.
China is both the biggest producer and consumer of pig meat in the world, producing 46 million tonnes a year but consuming still more.
Negotiations to open the Chinese market began in 2004 but were interrupted by the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2007 which was a major setback as everything was put on hold.
Support for British
The vast majority of people believe a British flag should only be put on meat products from animals which are born and bred in the UK, a poll showed today.
Three-quarters (74%) think it is important that the meat products they buy have a British origin and almost half (47%) look at the label to see which country it has come from, the poll for the Countryside Alliance revealed.
Nine out of 10 support the organisation's call to ensure that only meat from animals which have been born, reared and slaughtered in Britain should carry a British flag or label, the YouGov survey of almost 2,800 people found.
To see the report, click here.
Snowbird Breakfast Sausage
An alternative to the ubiquitous bacon sarnie has been developed by Snowbird foods.
It is an all-in-one breakfast sausage which is tastier and significantly more convenient - and delivers a distinctive breakfast taste experience, according to Snowbird.
The 60g pork sausages are in natural casings and are flavoured with quality diced bacon, mushrooms, baked beans and cherry tomatoes.
The firm says the colourful ingredients make this one of the prettiest sausages ever produced and the accompanying blend of seasonings, which includes a smoke flavour, delivers a memorable eating experience.
More Sausages in School
BPEX is calling for a review of how often sausages are served in schools following a survey which showed parents believe children would be more likely to eat a school meal if pork sausages were on the menu.
The research, undertaken by YouGov for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), also reveals the importance of quality with 65 per cent of parents saying they wanted to see more sausages on the school menu made with Quality Assured pork.
At present the rules on school meals say sausages can only be served once every two weeks but most schools use a three-week cycle and still only serve them once.
BPEX foodservice trade manager, Tony Goodger, said: “Quality assured pork sausages can fit the bill, but all too often they are overlooked as caterers find the rules too complicated.
"We want to change opinion and show that sausages make a great choice and fit well within school meal standards.”
Pig Farmer Protest
A father and daughter from East Yorkshire were among protesting pig farmers who accused Tesco of grossly underpaying UK suppliers of meat despite raising prices at the till.
Around 70 pig farmers and supporters of the industry gathered on a picket line outside the Tesco AGM at the East Midlands Conference Centre in a battle to win "a fair price" on their products.
Richard Longthorp, 58, and his 28-year-old daughter Anna, who run Kilpin Hall Farm in Howden, said a recent survey revealed a vast difference in earnings between the supermarket and farmers.
"They will say they pay a fair price," Mr Longthorp said. "Now, the word 'fair' is open to interpretation.
Mr Longthorp said: "The industry commissioned some research earlier this year and that research showed that the supermarkets, Tesco being the biggest, were making on average GBP16 million a week profit from the pork that they sell.
"Pig farmers, on the other hand, were losing on average GBP3 million a week."
The British Pig Industry Support Group, which organised the protest, said farmers are losing around GBP10 on every pig sold due to the high costs of feed and are calling for an immediate 10p a kilo price rise to try to help them break even.
(Source: Press Association)
Action on Volatility
The G20 agriculture ministers have reached agreement on an action plan on food price volatility and agriculture.
They have committed to five objectives
(i) improve agricultural production and productivity both in the short and long-term in order to respond to a growing demand for agricultural commodities
(ii) increase market information and transparency in order to better anchor expectations from governments and economic operators
(iii) strengthen international policy co-ordination in order to enhance confidence in international markets and to prevent and respond to food market crises more efficiently
(iv) improve and develop risk management tools for governments, firms and farmers in order to build capacity to manage and mitigate the risks associated with food price volatility, in particular in the poorest countries
(v) improve the functioning of agricultural commodities’ derivatives markets, this objective is being pursued through the work of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.
Please find the full text of the G20 deal by clicking here.
EU Consumer Price Levels
Eurostat has just published the results of a study on 2010 price levels for consumer goods and services.
Not surprisingly, it shows that they differed widely across Member States. Denmark (143% of the EU27 average) had the highest price level, followed by Finland (123%), whereas the lowest price levels were found in Bulgaria (51%) and Romania (59%)..
The United Kingdom (100%) was on the EU27 average.
Price levels for food and non-alcoholic beverages in 2010 ranged from 66% of the EU27 average in Bulgaria to 136% of the average in Denmark. Differences in price levels between Member States were smaller for this product group than for total goods and services.
Click here for more details.
Halal and Kosher Ban?
The Dutch parliament has passed a bill banning the slaughter of livestock without stunning it first, removing an exemption that has allowed Jews and Muslims to butcher animals according to their centuries-old dietary rules.
If enacted and enforced, religious groups said observant Jews and Muslims would have to import meat from abroad, stop eating it altogether, or leave the Netherlands.
However, the bill must still pass the Senate, which is unlikely before the summer recess, and the cabinet said the law may be unenforceable in its current form due in part to ambiguity introduced in a last-minute amendment.
If the Netherlands outlaws procedures that make meat kosher for Jews or halal for Muslims, it will be the second country after New Zealand to do so in recent years.
EU Seeks Common Standard
With INSPIRE – Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe – the European Union is creating a common standard to make environmental information quickly and easily accessible. This common standard will help to cut costs and improve the basis for decision-making at all levels.
Hundreds of experts from across Europe have been working together for several years to agree common definitions in important policy areas such as energy, climate change, biodiversity, the marine environment, and human health. The proposed standards are now open for public consultation and testing to assess their usability across disciplines and nations.
Data specifications covering 25 themes including land cover, buildings, soil, land-use, energy, health and safety are now open for public consultation until 21 October 2011.
Once adopted, the standards will facilitate cross-border integration and analysis of environmental data, modelling, and forecasting activities in many policy areas.
Click here for more.
The European Commission has adopted its long-awaited technical solution that introduces a de facto 0.1% threshold for the adventitious presence of minute traces of EU non-authorised biotech material in feed (eg soybean meal, corn gluten feed).
This LLP threshold only covers biotech material already authorised for commercialisation in a third country (eg the US, Canada, Brazil and Argentina) and for which an application for EU authorisation has been under consideration by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for more than 90 days and for which a validated detection method is available.
It is still unclear when the Commission will bring forward a proposal for an LLP for food but indications are that this is unlikely to happen before 2012.
The regulation will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the EU which is expected within the next few days.
For more information click here.
Farm Product Promotions
The European Commission is due to adopt a Green Paper on 'promotion measures and information provision for agricultural products: a reinforced value-added European strategy for promoting the taste of Europe' on 14July,2011.
The same day, the EC intends to launch a consultation on promotion measures and information provision for agricultural products.
The objective is to shape a new promotion and information strategy which will be targeted and ambitious in scope in order to draw greater benefit from the resources of Europe's farming and agri-food sector.
All stakeholders will be invited to submit their contributions on the issues raised in this Green Paper by 30 September 2011.
Information on the public consultation will be available on this link.
EU Grain Estimates
Copa-Cogeca has just released new EU grain harvest estimates revealing a 1% production drop in this year's EU cereals harvest.
The figures for 2011/12 show a 1% decrease in production, compared to last year, reaching 272 million tonnes. Sharper declines of 3.5% and 4.4% are seen in EU wheat and barley production while maize production estimates are good.
Results are available by clicking here.
Shake-up In Russia
Radical changes could shake up the pork market in Russia in the near future according to the latest Export Bulletin.
The Ministry of Agriculture is considering a total ban on private pig breeding. The issue is to be brought before the State Commission on Agricultural Issues.
The result could be that 35-40% of the pig population – the number raised on subsidiary and private farms – will be outlawed. This will bring about either a rise in prices or, more probably, a rise in imports.
To read the Export Bulletin, click here.
For the latest international price, click here.