Take Part in Bacon Week
Calling all farm shops! Don't miss out on the chance to take part in Bacon Connoisseur's Week.
The week, run by BPEX, is from March 22 to 28 and there is a great competition to enter which can help give your business a big boost.
Butchers and independent retailers have an opportunity to be awarded ‘best in class’ and over the years many butchers and retailers have entered these competitions and benefited from reaching the final stages.
Not only do these competitions provide entrants with winning opportunities, but they also provide a platform to not only generate good publicity for your business, but also help drive people to the shop and increase sales.
So do take a look at the competition flyer and consider entering a bacon variety into our Bacon Connoisseurs Week competition.
But don’t delay – the closing date for email/paper entry is the end of the week (Feb 5). All the information you need can be found on the BPEX Website by clicking here.
Entering your product into the Bacon Connoisseurs Week competition is just one way of getting involved though.
There are many ways of building on the Week to generate greater interest in your area with both customers and media.
The key thing with any activity is make sure you tell your customers and the local media (newspapers, radio stations, TV stations). That way you will get maximum value for your time and effort.
Notts Pies Are The Tops
At the recent Butchers Product Evaluation Event at the Newark Showground, Peter Mellors of Mellors Farm Butchers, Tuxford took the show with three of their home made pies, Hoop Baked Traditional Pork Pie, Steak & Kidney Pie and their Picnic Pie which won the overall best in show award. The event saw 35 butchers enter 159 products with 67 of those achieving a gold award. Along with 11 trade exhibitors the East Midlands event was the fourth in the series of seven. The remaining three events are to be held during February and March in the West Midlands, North West and South of England. For more information, click here.
Backing Farmhouse Breakfast
Choose a good quality bacon and have a weekend bacon butty or for a change try one of lovepork.co.uk’s tasty bacon breakfasts, with either pancakes (click here) or as a breakfast brunch (click here)
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Tip of the Week: Know Your Limits
The recent cold weather has certainly proved challenging and not necessarily just for you and your livestock. Have you been rigorously checking the temperature of your semen storage box or cabinet? Do you know the ambient temperature limits in which your storage equipment can operate correctly?
There are two main types of storage container, those based on a domestic fridge and “Thermo-electric” or Peltier mains/12 volt (usually portable) boxes. Depending on the type, age and supplier, the lower limit of their ambient operating temperature could range from -100C to as high as 50C!
If you are running a Peltier box off a car battery, then low temperatures can affect the efficiency of the battery, so the heaters have less power, reducing heat output and ability to provide an acceptable environment.
Remember, to maintain semen viability, store doses in open plastic trays/baskets to ensure contact with circulating air at 17C +/- 2C. For more detail visit the BPEX Practical Advice page of the website.
ADAS are running a series of workshops which will focus on improving the welfare of growing and finishing pigs by reducing the incidence of tail biting and by reducing the need for producers to tail dock. An ADAS pig consultant and industry professionals, along with a veterinary officer from Animal Health, will present at the interactive workshops, which are open to all producers, unit staff and members of the pig industry. The workshops will consist of a mix of short presentations on related topics such as tail docking and the BPEX-sponsored Bristol University intervention studies on tail-biting. Finally, a panel will be assembled from different specialists to discuss resolution of case studies raised by the audience, enabling each producer to draw from discussion practical conclusions to help solve any problems on their own farms.
These evening meetings will run through February and March 2010 across England, for details of venues and dates click here. If you are interested in attending please contact Georgie Fomes on 01354 697200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of damaging feed on-farm. If 5% of feed is damaged and lost to dust and waste it can cost up to £5,000/year on a 500 sow unit. This could increase to £20,000 plus if finishers are included, equating to an extra cost of 1p/kg deadweight. BPEX has produced a simple guide which you can use to walk your system and look at ways of reducing the risk of waste. Download the document here.
BPEX is hosting a lunch meeting for vets with Dr Paul Hughes from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) on Thursday 18th March 2010 near York.
Paul Hughes will be in the UK as a key speaker at the BPEX KT producer conference 'Back to the Future'. BPEX would also like to give vets the opportunity to come and hear about some of the latest research findings and join an open discussion about how to optimise sow reproductive performance.
Paul has more than 30 years experience in research and education training for the pork industry and some of his main areas of research involve improving sow longevity and seasonal infertility in pigs. He is SARDI’s leader of the pig and poultry research group, director of the National Centre for Pork Industry Training and Education and the leader of the pig reproduction research group.
The meeting is in an informal boardroom style with a lunch buffet.
To register please email Lis Ravn on email@example.com or call 07891 656785
12-2pm at the Ramada Fairfield Manor, Shipton Road, York YO30 1XW, Yorkshire.
The correct date of the BPEX Knowledge Transfer producer conference is Tuesday 16th March 2010, not Wednesday 16th March as published in last week’s BPEX Weekly.
Themed ‘Back to the Future’, it is a practical event open to all producers – to be held at the East of England Showground, Peterborough. The pig industry has a lot to be proud and positive about, with PCV2 now under control, a better pig price and more options than ever before for training. So now is the time for pig producers to take stock and look forward towards new opportunities for their business.
The event is focused on topics important to the success of every pig business, from gilt management to the future of the final pork product.
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Some 200 weaners have been taken from Paul Furniss’s pig farm at Chetwynd near Newport. They were between 5-8 weeks of age ranging from 9-15kgs.
This incident follows the theft of 500 weaners from Rob Mercer’s farm in March last year, also in the Shropshire area. These events aren’t necessarily linked, but unfortunately with the number of pigs involved it suggests a current pig producer somewhere must be involved. If anyone is offered pigs (especially marketing groups and processors) from an unexpected source please get in touch.
If anyone has any information that could lead to their recovery please contact Barney Kay on: 02476 858782 or 07814 448 956.
Will all IPPC producers who are struggling to get new permits, or variations to existing permits, or who are locked in discussions on ammonia improvement conditions, please get in touch with NPA no later than the end of next week.
NPA, NFU and BPEX will be meeting with Environment Agency directors during the week beginning February 8 to review key policy areas and look at current producer cases that have run into serious barriers.
‘We want to take your problems to the meeting and see if we can get some of the barriers lifted," said NPA general manager Barney Kay today.
Disease Outbreak Costs
The NFU says it remains completely and fundamentally opposed to any costs being transferred to livestock farmers for dealing with animal disease outbreaks.
It is "extremely concerned" about the government's draft Animal Health Bill, which does not give any detail about potential cost-sharing.
“We have lobbied for some time on this issue and consulted our members; we remain completely opposed to any cost burden being passed on to livestock farmers, particularly as we believe there are genuine savings to be made within Defra’s current Animal Health budget," said NFU president Peter Kendall.
“Livestock farmers are already paying their fair share; they contribute significantly to the overall cost of animal health and welfare and adhere to strict biosecurity on farm.
Tulip Ashton Monday 1 February
Tulip Westerleigh Tuesday 2 February
Tulip Spalding Thursday 4 February
Cranswick Norfolk Wednesday 10 February
Cranswick Hull Thursday 4 February
Vion Malton Tuesday 2 February
Vion Wiveliscombe Thursday 5 February
Woodhead Bros Colne Thursday 11 February
Woodhead Bros Spalding Monday 1 February
Cheale Meats Ltd Friday 5 February
F A Gill Thursday 11 February
Ensors Wednesday 3 March
H G Blake Wednesday 3 March
G Wood and Sons Ltd Wednesday 3 March
Assessment dates for January to June 2010 in all participating abattoirs have been published and are available on the BPEX website
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High Welfare Dutch Pork
Albert Heijn, the Netherlands' major retailer, is stop selling conventionally produced pig meat in 2011. The firm will only sell pork which is produced in accordance with animal welfare guidelines.
This pork will be marketed and distributed using the 'Better Life' brand, which is set up according to requirements of the Dutch animal welfare organisation 'Dierenbescherming'. This agreement was made between the retailer and Vion, the Netherlands' major meat processor.
Apart from allowing the pigs more space to move around (a minimum of 1 m2 per pig), the new standard also implies that male pigs will not be castrated and that maximum transport times will be introduced.
Price Wars Hit Farmers
Copa-Cogeca warned today that EU farmers are increasingly becoming the victims of retailers price wars and urged EU politicians to take action.
Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen stressed “This is an unacceptable situation. The downward pressure on retail prices squeezes the entire food chain. The drop in farmgate prices, which is not matched by a fall in production costs, puts an unbearable pressure on producers incomes which plummeted by 12.2% on average last year. In some cases, it drives farmers out of business. Aggressive price competition has also been found to limit consumer choice and cause a disruption in the production of seasonal products such as fruit and vegetables”.
Copa-Cogeca consequently urged the EU Commission, Euro-MPs and EU Ministers to rapidly take action. The move came as Euro-MPs agriculture committee debated the issue in Brussels today. It also came before the EU Commission is set to propose later this year concrete legislative proposals designed to improve the functioning of the food supply chain. Copa-Cogeca calls on them to propose measures which rebalance the power in the food chain and contribute to its better operation.
Smithfield Plant Shuts
John Morrell & Co. is closing its pork processing plant in Sioux City, eliminating all 1,450 hourly
and salaried jobs, says the latest Export Bulletin. The subsidiary of Smithfield, Va.-based Smithfield Foods Inc. said the plant that
employs more than 3 percent of the city's workers would close April 20. John Morrell President
Joseph B. Sebring cited the age of the plant, which was built in 1959, and the struggling economy
in announcing the closure.
To read the Bulletin, click here.
For the latest international prices, click here.
Farming's Role in Climate Change
The agriculture committee of the European Parliament has started discussions on a draft report on agriculture and climate change.
The initial finding of the report is that agriculture can help to slow climate change, but should be ready to adapt to the impact of global warming. A new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is therefore needed to take account of the impact of global warming and to mitigate climate change.
The future CAP can help mitigate global warming in three ways: limiting its own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, promoting carbon storage in the soil and producing sustainable and renewable energies.
This report will be put to a committee vote on 17 March.
It is available by clicking here.
Russia To Scrap Pork Imports
Russia does not need to import pork after 2012 and plans to stop almost all imports, said a Russian processor.
"Today Russia continues the development of its own pig industry through the active construction of modern pig farms, which will allow to remove the country’s pork import dependence in the coming years," said an offical of "Dymov," one of Russia’s producers of premium meat products.
This is in line with statements from Deputy Prime Minister, Viktor Zubkov. According to his projections, by 2012 Russia will be able to stop almost all imports of pork from abroad. According to the vice-premier, in order to implement such plans, the growth of the domestic output should amount to 200,000 tonnes annually.
Pork - Better Than Viagra!
Argentina's president believes eating pork can boost a person's sex life - and cited her own experience as proof.
Many people in the beef-loving nation reacted with surprise after Cristina Fernandez promoted pork in a speech during which she not only said pork is better than Viagra, but suggested she's personally proven it.
"I didn't know that eating pork improved sexual activity," Ms Fernandez said in a meeting with representatives of the swine industry.
"It is much more gratifying to eat some grilled pork than to take Viagra."
She even joked that "it was all good" after she enjoyed some pork with her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner.
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