Friday, October 19, 2018

Optimistic producers all set for Pig and Poultry Fair

April 3, 2018 by  
Filed under Livestock

Pig and poultry producers are planning further investment as they prepare to embrace new technology and business tools in the years ahead.

With both sectors anticipating changes – whether regarding access to labour or import and export regulations due to Brexit – keeping up-to-date is seen as vital, according to organisers of
next month’s British Pig & Poultry Fair.

Thousands of producers are expected to attend the two-day event, held on 15-16 May at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. As well as new products and equipment from over 350 exhibitors, the show will also feature the very latest advice and ideas from leading producers and experts.

“Technology is moving at a fast pace and it is vital that producers remain at the forefront of change,” says fair organiser Alice Bell. “Meeting the suppliers of that technology and networking with industry leaders is a perfect opportunity for producers to source what they need to improve.”

Positive future

Despite uncertainties around Brexit, most pig and poultry producers are positive about the future, with 100% planning to invest in their business this year, according to recent straw poll by the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE).

“There are clearly some challenges ahead, but it’s encouraging that so many farmers are optimistic and embracing the latest technology and advice on offer,” says Ms Bell.

According to an exit poll at the 2016 fair, 79% of visitors planned to make changes to their business as a result of their visit. One farmer who made a truly life changing decision in a previous year is Richard Knox, partner at Tor Pigs, Devon.

Mr Knox was looking to move from an outdoor unit to indoors – and met an experienced manager at the fair who advised him to focus on profitability and put in a tried-and-tested slatted system so he could closely predict performance.

Turning point

“If I had not had that conversation, I probably would not be in pigs now – it was a key turning point for me and a worthwhile investment,” he explains.

Based on the RASE poll, the most common investments this year are likely to be in erecting new or modifying existing buildings. They include Roger Gent, senior partner at Beedon Common Farm, Berkshire, who plans to put up a new 16,000 bird multi-tier shed.

Mr Gent says he is determined to ensure that his flat decks will comply with Freedom Foods’ perching requirements. “I can’t have the perches above feeders, so I hope to pick up ideas at the fair to solve this problem,” he says.

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