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AHDB Pork Weekly Export Bulletin

12 January 2015

BPEX Weekly Export Bulletin - 12 January 2015BPEX Weekly Export Bulletin - 12 January 2015

British Pig Executive Weekly Export Bulletin

he inspection visit by CNCA to reapprove the existing plants and cold stores for on going export of product to the People’s Republic of China and approval of sites in NI is likely to take place w/c 26 January (date to be confirmed). We are also discussing a separate visit by AQSIQ who will assess our position regarding trotters. CNCA and AQSIQ operate as separate departments with different remits and, as such, we will need to host two separate visits to achieve both reapproval and trotters.

On 1 January, the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency was established in Luxembourg. It replaces the Brussels-based services of the European Commission with a wider remit on “information provisions and promotion measures on agricultural products implemented in the internal market and third countries”.

Statistics from the European Commission show that the EU exports have recovered to 425,870 tonnes of the 571,413 tonnes lost due to the Russian ban in the ten months to the end of October, with higher exports to all destinations bar, of course, Belarus. Total exports are only down 5.6%, a creditable performance.
The epidemic of African swine fever in Central and Eastern Europe shows no signs of abating, with new cases in Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia. Outbreaks are still detected in dead wild boars in Poland and the Baltics on their eastern borders.

For reference, Secretary of State for the Environment Liz Truss will visit China with a pork trade delegation next week.


Initiative Tierwohl started on 1 January

The new pig welfare initiative has now started. The first pork will be on the shelves in the autumn. The scheme is fully audited and managed by a central organisation. Financing has been secured for three years from retailers by a contribution of €0.04 per kg on all products containing pork. See QS (Qualität und Sicherei), the German quality scheme, will promote the initiative at the Green Week in Berlin this month. (Source, AFZ)

Market share

The four largest German pig slaughter companies have a market share of almost 60%. A total of 58,8 million pigs were slaughtered in 2013. Tönnies alone slaughtered approximately 15 million pigs. In 2014, Tönnies announced plans to invest €200m in the construction of pig fattening facilities in Serbia. (Source,


The two short holiday weeks have resulted in a small oversupply of pigs in Germany. Although the surplus seems to be lower than a year ago, supplies from slaughter facilities exceed demand in some regions of Germany. This is especially the case in western regions, while the market in Southern Germany is roughly balanced. The reduced recommended price in the final week of 2014 did not significantly improve demand and, therefore, several slaughter facilities have already called for a further decrease at the start of 2015. However, the more or less balanced market situation in several regions has enabled the recommended price to remain unchanged at €1.28 per kg. Nonetheless, this is the lowest pig price in Germany since January 2011.


Well reared cooked ham

Cooperl won the 2014 LSA (retail magazine) innovation award with their new range “Bien élevé” (well reared) under the Brocéliande company brand. Cooperl marketers discovered that 83% of their customers were supportive of the label “no antibiotics”. Three years ago, Cooperl then developed a production system from weaning to processing without antibiotics on a voluntary basis; today 200 producers adhere to the scheme. This production requires the selection of hardier blood lines, extra hygiene controls with temperature control for air and water. Alternative health treatments such as homeopathy and herbal medicine are also used. Cereal feed is GMO free and sources of stress are minimised: no castration. The recipe used for braising the legs is also important and the addition of ingredients such as carrots adds to the eating quality of the cooked ham. The retail price of this well reared cooked ham is between the standard cooked ham and the Label Rouge range priced at €2.95 for 4 slices without rind weighing 160g.

Tracing French pigs

Thanks to the efficiency of the French pig database, half of the production of piglets could benefit from the simplification of the French traceability system. A new rule, relating to decree N°2014-1645 dated 26 December 2014 relating to pig identification should allow free movement (without being tagged) between production sites registered at the French database BDPORC. This is providing the link between the sites is recorded at BDPORC. This simplification will involve 4.8 million piglets, 2,500 breeding herds and 4,000 finishers.

Prepared pork by Dawn meats

The meat group Dawn meats launched a very innovative range of five different prepared meats including two pork-based recipes. The new range is supplied directly to Carrefour stores in France. The two recipes are: pork shank with caramelised apples (retailing at €7.45 for a 560g portion) and pork spare ribs with Bourbon BBQ sauce, retailing at €6.45 for a 544g portion.


The company employing 412 people in Basse-Normandie (mainly at the Ste Cécile site) and 179 in Antrain, was declared insolvent on 24 December 2014. The December salaries, averaging €3,000, have not been fully paid. The regional council offered a grant of €500 per employee. The group turnover reached €246.7m in 2013 for the process of 94,000 tonnes of meat (mainly pig meat but also beef and lamb). 92% of pig meat produced in Normandy (550 producers) is processed in the Ste Cécile cutting plant which was refurbished in 2012. On 6 January 2015 the Company Central Committee asked the local court for the group to be put into liquidation, a serious take-over proposition is also part of the request. The court accepted the request and a new owner needs to be appointed within six months. Workers’ unions are concerned this could be a second “GAD case” where hundreds of jobs have been lost.


Pigs: Despite good activity for slaughterers due to super and hypermarkets' requirement for promotions, the 56 TMP base price lost €c0.6 last Monday in Plérin. According to “Marché du porc breton”, the last two short bank holiday weeks, thousands of pigs were waiting to be delivered.
Piglets: The French market is taking a more usual rhythm. Offers are moderate, which supports prices. To note that last week FNP-FNCBV prices lost €c8 for 25kg weaners and €1.43 for post-weaning piglets.

Cuts: Market activity was good at the beginning of this week; this is not surprising considering that office/school canteens are back in service following the holidays. And, of course, it is also due to the promotions in stores.



A large supply of pork in the European market means that all cuts this week traded at virtually unchanged price levels. The UK bacon market also remained stable with similar prices to last week. The markets outside Europe remained quiet, demand is anticipated to improve in the coming weeks.


Micarna takes over Rudolf Schär

The Swiss meat concern, part of Migros, has bought sausage, salami and ham manufacturer Rudolf Schär AG in Eastern Switzerland. Schär employs 90 staff.


Live imports ban

The National Pig Health Committee has agreed a three-month voluntary ban on the import of live pigs to protect the island from PEDv which seems a growing problem in Continental Europe. (Source, Irish Farmers’ Journal)


Varkens van Morgen initiative starts on 1 July

Certification of pig farms for the new initiative Tomorrow’s Pigs (Varkens van Morgen) is to start with the scheme fully functioning from 1 July. For reference, The scheme promoted by Dutch organisations will propose pork with high sustainability and welfare credentials. Dutch supermarkets will be expected to sell the pork at a premium, and buying organisation SuperUnie I are making favourable noises. Rival lobby groups such as Wakker Dier are already criticising the scheme. (Source, Boerderij Vandaag)

Dutch trading strength

According to HBS, the Dutch association of by- and co-product processors, Dutch casing processors (Van Hessen, Teeuwissen and CTH) have a 20% share of the €3b world casing market. The reason: they have been involved in international trading, including China, since the 1960s and have built strong positions. (Source, Boerderij Vandaag)

New Internet site

The site clearly put emphasis on the sustainability of Dutch production and health. The site is funded by the Platform Varkensketen (Pork Chain platform) made, as we have described in the past, by producers (CVV), research organisations (LTO), processors (COV) and the feed sector (Nevedi). (Source, Vlees Magazine)

Pigs at the theatre

A new play “Wij, Varkenland” (Us, pig country) featuring the two sons of a pig famer by Flemish author Lucas de Man is now touring Holland. This features the realistic issues facing producers. (Source, Boerderij Vandaag)


New meat products regulations

These norms cover all Spanish processed meat products under Real Decreto 474/2014 and consolidate earlier legislation. Their publication that generated a lively debate in Spain was the major event of 2014. They are highly detailed and impose tighter standards for dry-cured sausages such as chorizos, chistorra, salchichón and sobrasada, for example, in imposing a ratio collagen/protein and limiting carbohydrates and added proteins. Lovers of Spanish dry-cured ham should note that “bodega/cava” quality refers to hams of 9 months of age, “reserva/añejo” to 12 months and “gran reserva” to 15 months. For paleta (cured shoulders), the equivalent is 5, 7 and 9 months. (Source, Eurocarne)


Major production fall

In 2014, Slovak production fell by more than 30% following a similar fall in 2013 according to EU statistics. (Source, European Commission)


US approval

Following ten years of discussions and inspections, Lithuania is now allowed to export pork, beef, sheep meat and goat meat to the USA, subject to individual plant approval. Lithuania had to drop poultry and eggs from its list. (Source, USDA)


Dear pork

Pork prices are up 27.1% against December 2013 at a record high R272.38 per kg carcase (€4.04 per kg - £3.02 per kg). Further price rises are expected. (Source, Boerderij Vandaag)


Sow numbers drastically down?

According to Jim Long, CEO of Genesis Genetics, sow numbers are down 12.1% from their peak as smaller producers have exited the industry. Analysts, such as Rabobank, are expecting a firming of pig prices. (Source, various)

Officials sacked over unfit meat

China has dismissed eight officials after pork from unfit infected pigs entered the food chain. The country's latest food scandal was revealed in an investigation by state broadcaster China Central Television which said the annual revenue of tainted pork was more than Yuan 20m (£2m). The meat had come from slaughterhouses in the city of Gaoan in central Jiangxi province. (Source, Mail on line)

New development in Hunan

Hunan New WellFul Co. Ltd. intends to build capacity with new farm in Hengyang (Hunan) with annual production of 350,000 heads. (Source, CNAgri)

Shared genetic data processing

Pig breeders Tangrenshen, Zhengda, WENS, and CHUIN will conduct common progeny data analysis. They will share breeding performance index data from 20m live pigs. (Source, CNAgri)

New pig breeder

Zhengbang Technology will set up Jiangxi Jiamei Swine Breeding Technology Cooperation Co. Ltd. in Jiangxi province. (Source, CNAgri)

GMO debate raging

China has announced it will not renew the biosecurity certification agreed for five years to some varieties of rice and maize and has not approved a new soya cultivar. Reasons include disappointing results of the research, the desire not to rely on US strains and, above all, public reticence. Contamination of the supply chain by genetically modified rice, particularly in Wuhan (where research is taking place) has led to a steep fall of public confidence in the technology. Still, the government still officially supports GMOs. China has approved 15 varieties of transgenic soya and imports vast amounts of it. On the other hand, China is sourcing increasing amounts of GMO-free maize from Thailand and Bulgaria and may block the import of lucerne and hay from the USA which represent nearly 1m tonnes due to the high level of contamination. (Source, Lettre Idele)

Chinese cooking

Lovers of Chinese culture or people simply curious of Chinese cooking and ingredients should watch A Bite of China, a series of superb programmes from Chinese television that took three years to shoot and have attracted a cult following. See: (English subtitles). (Source, own)

Internet sales benefit imported goods

E-commerce of imported goods is expected to grow to Yan6.5t (£650m) given the rate of expansion of 30% per year. (Source, Chinese Ministry of Commerce)


Danish genetics push

The Danish Ambassador is promoting Danish genetics and pig production technology in Vietnam. Danebred stock is present in Binh Thang and Thuy Phuong breeding centres. (Source, Asian Agri-Biz)


Meat plant licensing

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), under the Union Health Ministry, announced on 31 December that all meat shops and slaughterhouses should secure mandatory licences from the government to continue operations. In a notice to all food safety commissioners and secretaries of urban local bodies across the country, FSSAI said that licences from the civic bodies alone are insufficient. (Source Asian Agri-Biz)


Maple Leaf restructuration almost complete

The group has almost completed its 5-year transformation with the closure of eight plants and the consolidation of 17 distribution centres into two. One new plant (Hamilton, Ontario) has been commissioned for the production of frankfurters. It appears that the three remaining plants are Lagimodière (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Walker Drive (Brampton, Ontario) and McLeod (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan). In quarter 3, Maple Leaf registered losses of C$26.7m (£14.7m). (Source,


Increase of domestic herd

PEDv has had a fortunate effect on pig producers. By tightening prices against the background of lower feed price, producers have experienced record profitability in 2014. Unsurprisingly, the US breeding herd has increased by 3.7%. (Source, USDA)

New pork plant for Michigan

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has announced it will support the new Clemens pork plant in Coldwater Township, a project of US$ 255.7m (£164m). Some 810 new jobs will be created. The Pennsylvania based Clemens Food Group employs 2,200 people and this family business was created in 1895. (Source, Pork Network)

New structure for meat sector representation

Following decades of fragmentation (and some in-fighting), the US meat sector is now represented by only three organisations, all managed with industry professionals: NAMI (North America Meat Institute) - CEO Barry Carpenter was a highly skilled USDA meat grader, with broad international experience who rose to top level as an administrator in the Agricultural Marketing Service, before joining the North American Meat Association, a forerunner of NAMI. AAMP (American Association of Meat Processors – representing mainly small processors) – CEO is outreach Specialist Chris Young who was formerly an executive with the Hatfield Pork Group in Pennsylvania. EMPA (Eastern Meat Packers Association) has Dr William Henning (a noted meat scientist & former executive at Swift and Company) as its current Executive Director. (Source, own)


Dioxin crisis

The island’s pork has been found to contain high levels of dioxin in 17 out of 18 samples in analyses carried out by an environment organisation. Pigs are kept in backyards on the island. (Source, Boerderij Vandaag)


Christmas dinner

Cubans enjoyed their traditional Christmas Eve dinner, as they have done for more than 200 years, of grilled marinated skin-on bone-in pork shoulder or whole suckling pig with black and white beans and mojo sauce (Lechón asado). Roast pork is also traditional for Christmas in the Spanish Caribbean such as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. (Source, own)

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