BPEX Weekly

In this issue

Latest Feed Info

feed info

Are we facing the prospects of 2007-08 feed prices?

The main news in grain and oilseed markets is that dry weather across Western Europe, and floods across Eastern Europe have caused concerns about the yield formation in grain crops.

At this point in the year the market is always jittery about weather and yields and until the combines get fully going in France and Germany it’s anyone’s guess as to where yield actually stand.

But the market can’t afford to wait around for this information and as such the nervousness was seen in a £19/t rise in UK wheat futures since 1 July.

November LIFFE wheat closed at 13-month highs of £130/t on July 15th.

To read the latest feed information, click here.


Latest Link Updates

Pig Market Update

2TS Campaign

ZNCPig Scheme


Contact Details

Call: 02476 692051

Email: info@bpex.org.uk

Web: www.bpex.org.uk

Other BPEX Sites



BPEX Weekly: 16 July, 2010


Marketing News

Pig'nic Society Goes Live

Sharron Davies

The traditional pork pie topped a recent survey as the food British people feel a picnic is not a picnic without one. That is one of the reasons why Love Pork is leading the campaign to rename picnics to PIG’nics!

If you too are a PIG’nic fan join Sharron Davies and pledge your support to the campaign by logging on to the Love Pork Facebook page.

 As well as being able to register your support, you will also find a Love Pork PIG’nic calendar with top PIG’nic dates for your diary, a downloadable recipe booklet and tips to ensure your PIG’nic is a success.

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Calling Young Butchers


The search is now on for the UK's top young talent, Young Butcher of the Year is back.

This series showcases the millions of young British workers whose skills aren't the kind to win them a million pound recording contract. Following the success of last year’s series, Young Butcher of the Year is part of a BBC Three series celebrating young trade talent across the country.

If you are a talented young Butcher we want to hear from you. Or if you know someone who fits the bill please get in touch.

We are looking for someone who can be a true ambassador for their trade, who is aged 16-25 years, up for a challenge and wants to show the world their skills! Want to know more? Email: youngtalent@bbc.co.uk

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Coolest Butcher in Town

Cool butcher

In a well-established suburb, tree-lined streets offer a perfect enclave for cafes and boutiques and for that most unlikely of things, a supremely cool butcher shop.

Victor Churchill is the first, and so far the only, butcher shop established by Vic and Anthony Puharich, the father and son duo behind Vic’s Premium Quality Meat, the leading meat supplier to some of the finest restaurants in Australia, China and Singapore. Have a Butchers, it’s really cool!

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Knowledge Transfer

2TS Tip: Daily Liveweight Gain

2TS logo

About 10% of feed may be 'wasted' on a typical farrow to finish unit; if you can see food down slats and on the floor you have more than 5% waste. Improve (or start) recording growth and FCR to allow better decision making.

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Simple Sieve Video


You can now see a video to accompany Stuart Bosworth’s farm case study, using the Bygholm sieve to monitor the degree of coarseness of feed, cereal and other feed products.

The video shows how straightforward it is to sample feed and after using the sieve, Stuart was able to reduce feed wastage by up to 10%! To see the video or read more about this case study, click here.

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Trainee of the Year

Pfizer logo

Entries are coming in for the award, worth more than £2500 and there is just over two weeks to go to get your entry in.

If you haven't already submitted an entry, you will find details online by clicking here where you can also download an entry form.

If you have any queries, please contact us at BHR Communications: Tel 0845 402 6527 or email lyn@bhrcommunications.co.uk

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Farrowing House Lighting

2TS logo

We know that the temperature requirements of piglets and sows in the farrowing house are quite different but what about the different light requirements of sows and those who work with them?

Defra states that pigs in buildings with no natural light should have at least 40 lux of supplementary light for a minimum of eight hours per day.

However, 40 lux does not provide adequate lighting for staff to observe pigs in detail and therefore it is harder to achieve a high standard of farrowing house management.

Click here for more information on the level of lighting needed for staff to work effectively as well as addressing the sow’s needs. See if it can make a difference to unit productivity.

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Keep it Clean!

Farm equipment, such as pregnancy scanners, should be thoroughly cleaned before sending to suppliers for service or repair. It creates a biosecurity risk when suppliers are sent dirty equipment to work on.

Dick Openshaw of Rotech Livestock Equipment says: “To minimise the risk of disease transmission, it makes sense to thoroughly clean and disinfect equipment before sending it back.

"Also, dirty equipment is unpleasant for both farm staff and our staff to handle and it’s worth keeping equipment in a clean condition anyway. There is no question whatsoever that cared-for equipment will last longer.”

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National News:

5th Quarter - Profit or Loss

A major conference is being organised aimed at improving environmentally friendly and profitable usage of the ‘fifth quarter’.

The event is organised by EBLEX, BPEX and the Food Chain and Biomass Renewables Association (FABRA) and takes place in Warwickshire on Wednesday, September 8.

The main topics being covered at the event are:

  • Seizing market opportunities for offal
  • Processing of edible co-products
  • Environmental impact of animal co- and by-products
  • Current research in the area

The audience will include abattoir operators, by-product and co-product processors and allied industries.

The conference will include all parts of the fifth quarter of cattle, sheep and pigs including offal, blood, bones, hides and skins and casings.

The conference will be chaired by EBLEX Chairman John Cross and will include nine speakers.

Head of Exports for EBLEX and BPEX Jean-Pierre Garnier, said: “For the first time we are trying to link all elements of the chain from on-farm factors, processing quality, exports sales as well as minimising the environmental impact of these activities.

“We have created a National Meat Waste Task Force to take forward this vital agenda for the whole livestock sector and this conference is an important stage in this development.”

For further information contact Helen Strider at: helen.strider@ahdbms.org.uk

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Latest BPHS Dates


Below are the latest BPHS assessment dates



Cranswick Norfolk

Monday 26 July

Tulip Westerleigh

Monday 26 July

Vion Malton

Monday 26 July


Monday 26 July

F A Gill

Wednesday 28 July

Woodhead Bros Colne

Wednesday 28 July

Cranswick Hull

Thursday 29 July

Tulip Spalding

Thursday 29 July

Tulip Ashton

Friday 30 July

Woodhead Bros Spalding

Friday 30 July


Tuesday 3 August

H G Blake

Tuesday 3 August

G Wood & Sons Ltd

Tuesday 3 August

Tulip Westerleigh

Wednesday 4 August

Vion Malton

Wednesday 4 August

Cranswick Hull

Friday 6 August

Tulip Spalding

Friday 6 August

Assessment dates for June to December 2010 in all participating abattoirs have been published and are available on the BPEX website.

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Cranswick Boom

Pork products supplier Cranswick said total sales in the first quarter at GBP198 million were 19% higher than a year ago.

The East Yorkshire-based firm, which supplies supermarkets including Sainsbury's and Tesco, reported substantial gains in fresh pork, bacon and sandwiches and continued growth in cooked meats and sausages, offset by a reduction in sales of continental products.

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Cracking Figures for Pork

A more positive attitude to pork coupled with high profile support from TV chefs and food writers have given the English pig industry a real boost in the last year.

Pork and pork products have also benefited from the recession as they are also seen as good value for money.

These important trends are all analysed in a new, revamped and more focused edition of the Pig Yearbook published by BPEX. 

As well as the demand side of the market the Pig Yearbook also looks in detail at the performance of the pig production industry in this country and particularly in comparison with our major competitors in Europe. 

While the analysis clearly shows that we have become more competitive in cost terms it also shows that we remain behind many of our competitors for many physical Key Performance Indicators at farm level.

BPEX Director Mick Sloyan said: “There are indications that at least some of the profit currently being made by producers is being reinvested in addressing these challenges. 

“If we are to achieve a more sustainable competitive position in Europe we must understand the scale of the challenges and then use the best knowledge to address them. 

“This will cover many aspects of production such as breeding performance, growth rates, feed efficiency and so on. We have brought these all together under a single focus called “the Two Tonne Sow” 

“Some of our competitors already work at this level while others are moving towards this target. 

“Through investment by producers, expert support from the BPEX Knowledge Transfer team and a flow of practical ideas from commissioned research and development, both here and in other countries, we can hit this target.”

Copies of the Yearbook are available from Dorian Harris on 0247 6647 8850 and cost £18 for BPEX levy payers. The cost for non-levy payers is £22 and for non-UK residents £28.

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NADIS Latest

NADIS logo

Despite there being long established rules regarding weaning ages, producers can fall foul of them. Irrespective of housing and management, it is illegal routinely to wean piglets below 21 days of age (other than in emergency situations).

However, Quality Assurance rules require that no sow be confined for more than 28 days after farrowing. This provides a very narrow window for weaning unless sows are released from crates after 28 days.

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Latest Meat Tenders

The latest meat tenders advertised by the OJEC are available to see by clicking here.

This week there are four, London Borough of Sutton, London - Palace of Westminster, Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council and Blackpool Borough Council.

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BPEX Online Diary

The BPEX website has an interactive online diary of events. Keep up to date with the latest activity and don’t miss out on a workshop or meeting! You can also submit your event to be included in the diary by following the on-screen instructions. Click here for more.

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International News:

Bid for Better Welfare

Research supported by Australia’s Pork Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) suggests changes to how sows are managed and mated in lactation may enable a smooth transition from stalls to group housing, without reproductive performance declining.

Addressing an Animal Welfare Science Centre pig welfare seminar in Melbourne on Friday, July 9, Pork CRC CEO, Dr Roger Campbell said the new technology, developed by Sydney University researchers, formed the basis of a major program in the CRC’s rebid application recently submitted to the Australian Government.

“One of the program’s core objectives will be the development of cost effective management and housing systems that have no adverse effects on reproduction or cost of production, but will improve the welfare of sows and their progeny,” he told about 50 delegates.

The ‘Confinement Free Systems’ program will involve leading international researchers, commercial production companies, animal welfare organisations and food retailers.

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US Pork Exports Up

U.S. pork and beef exports showed strong gains in May over a year ago, while chicken exports declined, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

U.S. pork exports in May, at 124,259 metric tons, were up 18.4 percent from a year ago. While the percentage gain reflects last year’s export decline over H1N1 fears, the current pace of pork exports “remains significant,” according to the CME Group’s Daily Livestock Report.

Japan continued to be the top market for U.S. pork, with exports there up 13.4 percent from last May. Exports to Mexico were up 44 percent from last year, also reflecting the H1N1-induced decline last May.

The DLR noted, however, that exports to Mexico have slowed since the last few months, which is a concern, given that market’s importance to ham prices.

Russian imports of U.S. pork in May, at 9,506 metric tons, were down 34 percent from a year ago, but was the largest volume Russia has taken on a monthly basis since last September, according to J.P.Morgan analyst Ken Goldman.

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Benefits of Group Housing

Reproductive data of more than 40,000 Topigs sows from 59 Dutch farms in the period 2008-2009 shows that group-housed sows produce piglets with an average birthweight 61 gram higher than those of individually housed sows.

Welfare regulations mean that from 2013 onwards, sows in Europe must be housed in groups during gestation.

These group housing systems allow sows to interact socially and perform behavioural patterns that might benefit their welfare, decrease stress levels and thus positively influence birthweight.

Another possible explanation for the higher birthweights is that group-housed sows exercise more than individually housed sows.

Researchers found that sows who exercised a lot during gestation had higher birthweights than sows who exercised little. This could be related to a better blood circulation of the uterus.

A third explanation might be that group-housed sows lose less body energy through radiation in cold seasons as they can huddle together and sometimes straw is used as an insulating material on the floors.

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Danes Do Well in Oz

Danish pig producers are doing well in Australia and prospects are that things are even going to improve, according to the latest BPEX Export Bulletin.

An analysis forecasts Danish exports to Australia will increase by 20%. At present the majority of food exports consists of meat and that is mainly chilled pork, but increasing demand means that, in the future, exports will also include organic products and high quality food products, says Danish Business.

Exports of pork are expected to increase by 20% over the next year. To read the full Bulletin, click here.

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International Prices

For the latest international prices, click here.

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