BPEX Weekly

In this issue

Latest Feed Info

feed info

Markets have taken a respite this week with the next major tranche of fundamental information on USDA Planting Intentions and Stocks report due to be released next week. This week has seen updates to the International Grains Council monthly global supply and demand updates. Two figures to note are the global wheat production for 2011/12 forecast at 673Mt, up from 649Mt in 2010/11, and global maize production for 2011/12 seen at 841Mt up from 808Mt in the previous season. LIFFE nearby wheat future climbed £6/t over the week to £200/t by midday today (Fri March 25).

CBOT soya prices were also relative flat this week hovering around the $400/ tonne mark, in stark contrast to last weeks volatility. However there are reports that there is reluctance by feed compounders in the US to commit to forward pricing beyond Nov 11 amid uncertainty of production and demand levels.


Latest Link Updates

Pig Market Update

Focus on Farrowing

ZNCPig Scheme


Contact Details

Call: 02476 692051

Email: info@bpex.org.uk

Web: www.bpex.org.uk

Other BPEX Sites



BPEX Weekly: 25 March, 2011

Marketing News

Oz Welcomes Them Home

Pz Bacon Week

The week began with Oz Clarke at St Pancras Station handing out over 600 free bacon sarnies, which went down very well with all the passengers. 

This followed an awards luncheon held in the heart of London to announce the Category Winners and Champion of the Savour your Bacon competition. 

This was announced as Morrison’s Supermarkets Butchers Style Ayrshire Middle Bacon, which is from a traditional cut of bacon with a classic flavour. Morrisons were delighted, as were the other three finalists;  

Brand Winners, Case & Sons with their Smoked Wiltshire Cure Thick Cut Bacon

Butchers Winner, Cranston’s Quality Butcher’s of Penrith, Cumbria with their Dry Cured Back Bacon.

Foodservice Winner, Lakes Speciality Foods of Kendal, Cumbria with their Pancetta Bacon. For more information, click here.

Media Coverage snippets so far…

BBC Radio 2,Chris Evans waxed lyrical on the subject of bacon for some time on his show this morning (Fri). Keep tuned in for the mystery guest on Monday as well!

BBC Radio Norfollk, Drivetime Show

Wright Stuff C5 featured a bacon porktrait

Sue Woodall, of Ladies in Pigs, was at Leeds Bradford airport on Thursday morning, handing out free bacon sandwiches to early morning travellers, which also went down very well.

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Raymond Blanc Pushes Pork

Raymond Blanc

BPEX marketing material reaches the highest echelons of the foodie world as this still from Raymond Blanc's Kitchen Secrets programme on BBC2 shows.

Not only was BPEX's pork cuts poster in shot for much of the programme, but the French chef referred to it when talking about the great tasting and good value pork cuts available today.

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Winning Ways

Winner pic

Food manufacturers, catering butchers and chefs gathered for the exciting conclusion of the BPEX Foodservice Pork Product of the Year Competition 2011.

Picking up the prestigious title of Overall Champion was Southover Food Company Ltd, for their ‘Free Range Cured Roast Loin of Pork’.

The competition, which culminated in a presentation final at Butchers Hall (24 March), continues to grow thanks to the popularity of pork and pork products on the catering menu.

This year, more than 130 products were submitted by chefs, butchers and manufacturers to the foodservice industry across the competition’s six categories. 

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Knowledge Transfer

Tip of the Week: Wheat Price

The price of wheat has risen sharply to more than £170 per tonne and there is no sign of any respite in feed costs soon.

Producers should assess where they can make efficiencies and reduce feed waste during weaner and finisher production, to secure the best net margins possible. BPEX has put together a technical ‘feed crisis‘ advice pack on this which can be found by clicking here.

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Annual Report Published

Front Cover

The BPEX Annual Technical Report (2010-11) is hot off the press!! Look out for your copy in the post over the next few days.

The report gives an in-depth look at what the BPEX KT R&D team have been involved with during the past year, from workshops and research to new publications and study tours.

Copies have been posted out to around 1600 producers, vets, academics and allied industry, if you don’t receive a copy in the next week or so and would like one contact BPEX on 0247 647 8732 or email your postal address to kt@bpex.org.uk. An electronic version is also available by clicking here.

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Ask BPEX is a question and answer service brought to you by BPEX. This includes experts in nutrition, the environment, health, meat science, practical on-farm advice and much more.

Previously asked questions can be found on the website, a recent example is “Can you put pure Landrace sows and gilts outdoors? Will they cope?” If you have views and experience on this, add your comments by visiting the BLOG.

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FIT Consultation

The Government has announced a public consultation as part of the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) review.The consultation seeks views on proposals to change tariff levels.

The changes include a reduction in the tariff of large scale solar photovoltaic (PV) installations (larger that 50 kilowatts) and an increased tariff level for farm scale anaerobic digestion (AD).

Views on the scope of the comprehensive review are required by 12th April 2011. For more information please visit the DECC website by clicking here.

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Dates For The Diary

In-field demonstrations to help farmers improve their efficiency, productivity, profitability, environmental protection and enhancement of dairy, pigs, horticulture and arable enterprises are taking place at Harper Adams University College, Shropshire on Thursday 7 April.

Guided tours, along two different routes, will leave the yard every 20 minutes and each stop will encourage lively debate among producers.

The two tours will each take about two hours. For each tour, the first group will leave at 10:00 and the last one at 14:00. The event costs £25.00 per person (incl. VAT) or FREE to LEAF Members.

To book your place and to find out more visit www.leafuk.org or contact Sarah Bartlett Tel: 02476 413911 Email: sarah.bartlett@leafuk.org.

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National News:

Help from EA

Additional funding for the Environment Agency (EA) to provide practical advice to help businesses, organisations and communities prepare for climate change has been announced by Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman today.

The EA will take on a new, additional role as the Government’s delivery body in England for advice on climate adaptation – the actions needed to build our resilience to the changes and impacts projected such as hotter, drier summers; warmer, wetter winters; and an increased risk of severe weather and flooding.

Defra will provide the EA with an additional £2millon per year to deliver climate adaptation advice, an increase on the current £1.5million per year budget paid to the current delivery partners, the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) and the UK’s regional climate change partnerships. For more information, click here.

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Olympic Catering

The Catering Contractors to the 2012 Olympics have now been announced and are as follows:

  • Aramark (Olympic Villages, Weymouth)
  • Baxter Storey (Main Media Centre)
  • Amadeus (Olympic Park North)
  • Sodexo (Olympic Park South, Hampden Park,, St James Park Royal Artillery Barracks, Lords)
  • Global Infusion (Hadleigh Farm, Lee Valley, Horse Guards Parade, Hyde Park)
  • Arena Leisure (Eton Dorney, Greenwich Park)
  • Creativevents (Retail catering at ExCeL, Earls Court)
  • Compass (ExCeL, Earls Court, Millennium Stadium, North Greenwich Arena, Wembley Arena, Wimbledon, City of Coventry Stadium, Millenium Stadium)
  • Manchester United (Old Trafford)
  • Bon Appetit (non-competition venues)

Contact details and further information are available from Tony Goodger.

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Pink Pig's a Winner

Sally Jackson

Sally Jackson, a pig farmer from North Lincolnshire, has been selected by romp writer and much-loved friend of the countryside Jilly Cooper as the ‘Face of British Food Fortnight 2011’. Sally will appear on the home page of the event's website in the build up to the national food promotion, which runs from September 17 to October 2.

The organisers of British Food Fortnight teamed up with Farmers Weekly magazine to find the ‘face’ to front this year's national food promotion.

Jilly Cooper said: “The finalists were a marvellous bunch of people but I have to say that I fell in love with Sally Jackson. She has such a lovely warm face and I was so impressed by the number of things that she does with her Pink Pig farm.”

Event organiser Alexia Robinson, said: “We can hardly believe how the quest to find the Face of British Food Fortnight has taken off!”

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VSP Report Out

The latest Danish annual technical report for 2010 has now been published in English.

It contains a review of the economic conditions and key performance indicators in the Danish pig industry, together with a resumé of the major research work undertaken in the fields of :

  • Breeding
  • Nutrition
  • Environment
  • Housing
  • Welfare
  • Health

The report can also be accessed via the English section of the VSP website by clicking here and then on Annual Reports.

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Latest BPHS Dates

BPHS logo



Tulip, Spalding

Monday, 28 March

Cranswick, Norfolk

Tuesday, 29 March

Vion, Malton

Tuesday, 29 March

Tulip, Westerleigh

Tuesday, 29 March

H G Blake

Friday, 1 April


Friday, 1 April

G Wood & Sons Ltd

Friday, 1 April


Monday, 4 April

Vion, Wiveliscombe

Monday, 4 April

Tulip, Ashton

Monday, 4 April

Woodhead Brothers, Spalding

Monday, 4 April

Cranswick, Hull

Thursday, 7 April

Tulip, Spalding

Thursday, 7 April

Tulip, Westerleigh

Thursday, 7 April

Assessment dates for January to June 2011 in all participating abattoirs have been published and are available on the BPEX website.

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eAML2 is Coming

There's just a week to go until the electronic pig movement licence, eAML2, will become available to all producers and abattoirs across England and Wales for farm-to-slaughter movements.

In a nutshell, the ‘eAML2’ is the electronic version of the pig movement licence AML2. It also combines the AML2 with the Food Chain Information (FCI) into just one form online. It enables pig producers and abattoirs to complete pig movements electronically and for free – saving time and work. It is available from Monday, April 4.

AML2 information will be uploaded directly from the BPEX service onto the Government database within 24 hours so, for the first time, the industry will have a realistic herd register to enable better communication and control in the event of disease outbreak.

All that is needed is a PC, internet access and an email address - no software needs installing.

The service is now being used in 21 abattoirs, including all the major assured plants as well as smaller independents. Click here for the list so far.

Both producers and abattoirs can register for the service at www.eaml2.org.uk

From 1 May 2011 the existing online FCI service will be phased out now that eAML2 is up and running.

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Farm Visit Survey

Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) is developing a new resource for farmers which involves FACE undertaking a survey to collect information from farmers who open their farm gates for visits.

There are many ways in which farmers organise and recoup costs for such visits. By completing the survey, you will be helping provide examples of how this takes place. All information used for the resource will be completely anonymous.

Click here for a form which should be sent to FACE, Arthur Rank Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire CV8 2LG

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Confidence is Rock Bottom

Not unsurprisingly, pig producer confidence is at an all time low even compared with the dark days of 2008.

But that lack is not reflected in other areas of the industry according to the latest confidence survey by BPEX.

The survey, which has now been running annually since 2006, measures confidence by examining attitudes towards re-investment in the business.

The majority said it was not lack of access to finance that was the inhibiting factor but uncertainty about the returns. Any investment that was taking place was mostly to improve efficiency or replace aging buildings and equipment rather than increasing the size of the business.

On a more positive note producers and other parts of thesupply chain felt their competitiveness had improved when set against UK, EU and global businesses in the last 12 months.

The survey also provided some useful feedback on the quality of BPEX services. This will be reviewed both by the board and the BPEX team, hoping further to enhance the relevance of service to all customers.

To see the full survey, click here.

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Pig Debate in Lords

Lord Hoyle started off a series of questions in the House of Lords about the pig industry by asking what help the Government is giving to British pig farmers.

In reply, Lord Henley said: "We are committed to supporting and developing all British farming. This includes working with the pig industry to build on progress by the pig meat task force to improve relationships between farmers and retailers.

"At an EU level, we are working to improve the situation for producers in the medium term, including discussions in the Commission’s new enlarged pig meat advisory group."

There was a series of supplementary questions with a number of members of the Lords joining in. Click here to read a transcript.

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Colostrum is Key


More than 300 producers attended the Two-Tonne Sow (2TS) Focus on Farrowing conferences, organised by the BPEX Knowledge Transfer team.

At the events, Yannig Le Treut, (pictured) of French nutrition company Lallemand said: “Colostrum provides energy and immune protection as well as helping the gut mature in the first few hours of life, which is one of its lesser-known functions. It is essential that the piglet has its first colostrum intake as quickly as possible as its body fat reserves and glycogen levels are very low at birth, making colostrum its main source of energy.

“The best pig producers spend a lot of time with a newborn litter making sure that all the piglets, particularly the weakest, get to suckle, ideally within the first six hours.

“Where practical, producers should not cross-foster until at least 24 hours after birth as maternal colostrum intake must be the priority. Just mark the piglets ready for moving later.

To view the full presentations from all the conference speakers visit www.bpex.org.uk/2TS/events.aspx

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International News:

Chinese Clamp Down

Henan’s authories have been ordered by a Chinese government taskforce to clamp down even more on the use of illegal substances in animal feed.

This action has been sparked by the recent headlines that exposed pigs being fed the illegal drug clenbuterol/ractopine in order to produce leaner pig meat. Leaner meat brings in more money for producers as the price charged for the meat could be tagged ashigher.

A spokesperson stated that ‘those who deliberately add substances harmful to humans to pig feed should be severely punished and further added that local food safety officers who were negligent in their duties or involved in conspiring with illegal additive producers or pig farmers should also be punished in accordance with the law,’ said a report by xinhuanet.com.

(Source: Pig Progress)

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Salmonella Report

The 2009 EU summary report on zoonoses has been published today by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The report covers 14 zoonotic diseases, including Q fever, brucellosis, bovine tuberculosis, rabies and the two parasitic zoonoses, trichinellosis and echinococcosis.

In 2009,a total of 5,550 food-borne outbreaks were reported in the European Union, causing 48,964 human cases, 4,356 hospitalisations and 46 deaths.

Most of the reported outbreaks were caused by Salmonella, viruses and bacterial toxins. The most important food sources were once again eggs and egg products, mixed or buffet meals and pig meat and products thereof.

In addition, 15 waterborne outbreaks were reported in 2009 related to the contamination of private or public water sources.

On Salmonella:

One of its main findings is that following the 2003 regulation putting in place enhanced Salmonella control programmes in all Member States, human salmonellosis cases were reduced almost by half over a five-year period, from 196,000 cases in 2004 to 108,000 cases in 2009. In foodstuffs, Salmonella was most often detected in fresh broiler, turkey and pig meat, on average at levels of 5.4 %, 8.7 % and 0.7 % respectively.

The report also gives an overview of other food-borne diseases.

For those interested, the full report is available by clicking here.

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Danish Money Woes

As of 2013 all pig producers must meet requirements of improved animal welfare which have been underway for many years, according to the latest BPEX Export Bulletin.

But the 25% of Danish pig producers not yet complying may have a hard time borrowing money for new units or for rebuilding them.

Operating economist Knud Moller of Jysk Agricultural Advisory Services estimates that there are probably no more than 5 to 10 % of the pig producers that meet the lenders’ demands. Therefore, several pig farms are for sale. The regulations on animal welfare are valid throughout the EU.
(Source, JyskeVestkysten)

To read the Bulletin, click here.

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International Prices

For the latest international prices, click here.

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BPEX, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2TL