Pork sector plan 2022–2027
The next five years will see a greater focus on what levy payers told us was most important. All work will align with those priorities. Where it doesn’t, it will be stopped.
Considering the voting results, available funds, and industry challenges (now and anticipated), your sector council has directed AHDB to focus on three themes:
These three themes support one another, and all work will improve one or more of these.
Given the reduction in levy income, overall spend will change from £9.7m to £7.9m. All spend will now be distributed across the three themes.
British pork is one of the most popular proteins, has a great reputation in the market and offers exceptional value for money.
However, we cannot be complacent. Consumer attitudes toward eating meat are ever-changing. Regularly inspiring shoppers to choose pork, for home cooking or when eating out, is an essential component for long-term profitability.
The aim of this work is to support the long-term demand for pig meat by championing pork as a healthy and versatile choice for consumers.
We will measure impact by gathering and sharing with you data on consumer attitudes towards pork before and after each campaign.
- Continue to deliver its award-winning consumer marketing campaigns that drive positive attitudes to pork consumption in and out of the home
- Inspire younger consumers to cook and eat pork via ‘always-on’ social media activity
- Shift resource when required to stimulate additional demand for particular cuts, as was done for pork shoulder during Covid lockdowns
- Work with retailers to improve the meat aisle, to make it a more enticing place to shop and buy pork
The more opportunities there are for sales of British pork around the world, the greater the chance there is to sell every part of the pig for the best financial return and so support farmgate prices.
The aim of this work is to increase market access and drive export value and volume to underpin pig prices.
We will measure impact by sharing updates on the number of markets open, the value and volume of trade, and the value per pig.
In 2021, British pig meat was exported to 98 markets. Export volume was almost 350,000 tonnes with a value of £567 million. The value per pig was £49.
- Strive to win market access: identify lucrative markets, then work with governments and industry to achieve trading and veterinary requirements in new markets such as Vietnam
- Optimise access for all cuts: once a market is open, host potential importers and governments to grow trade and gain access for more categories of cuts. For example, while whole muscle can be exported to Mexico, extending that to include offal would give even greater benefit
- Champion British pork at international shows: showcase it around the world, particularly in Europe, Asia and the United States, sharing the costs with other sectors to get the best value for money
AHDB is an independent, evidence-led body. It is in a unique position to provide unbiased data and evidence to show the truth about British pig farming, challenge misrepresentations and champion the best aspects of the industry. This is all vital to protect and promote the reputation of the sector.
But what do we mean by ‘reputation’? For consumers, this means matters relating to their own health, animal health and welfare, and the environment.
The aim of this work is to protect and promote the reputation of the industry to consumers and optimise sales opportunities.
We will measure impact by gathering and sharing with you measures of how consumers regard pork and its production. AHDB will work in the following areas:
Reputational defence and education
- Challenge misinformation in the public domain, using data and evidence
- Educate consumers of the future by working in collaboration with the British Nutrition Foundation, providing material for schools and healthy eating week, and funding Ladies in Pigs
- Promote the positive work of the industry by providing expert spokespeople, case studies and facts for the press and media, to present the sector in the best light
- Respond to government consultations and provide evidence to Select Committees
- Use randomised isotope testing to deter attempts to mislabel imported pig meats as British
- Regularly convene industry events around reputational issues, to share messaging and actions that collectively protect and promote the industry
- Remain alert to emerging reputational issues and changing policy direction
Animal health and welfare
- Use data and evidence (AHDB’s own or that of others) to uphold pig meat’s reputation and the sector’s integrity. For example, the collection of antibiotic usage data via the electronic Medicine Book (eMB) system to defend the industry from unfair criticism
- Conduct disease surveillance and work with government and others to minimise the chance of diseases like African Swine Fever entering the country
- Work with industry and government to limit the impact of endemic disease by making it easy for farmers to arrange pig movements via AHDB’s Pig Hub, which provides vital data in the event of disease outbreaks
- Work with Defra on developing the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway
- Conduct work that shows the low and decreasing impact of pig production on the environment. In addition to AHDB’s Pork Roadmap, harness further data that can protect and promote the reputation of the industry
Levy payers can only deliver improvements to underpin the sector’s reputation if they are profitable. AHDB’s market intelligence work gives farmers and processors information that is essential to make informed decisions for their business, such as:
- Pig prices, nationally and internationally, plus an understanding of the likely near-term developments
- Cost of production and farm margins analysis, including international comparisons
- Production levels, here and overseas, to understand whether there will be an over or undersupply of pig meat
- Consumption trends that could impact demand levels and standards of production
- The latest domestic policy changes and global factors, such as trade deals, which need to be considered when planning
- Monitoring longer-term market signals that will impact producers’ ability to compete at home or overseas
This data and evidence will also be used to inform government as public policies are developed.
Listen to Pork sector council members discuss the plan
Work reducing or stopping following the vote
The sector council has acted on clear messages from levy payers to amplify our work on marketing, exports and reputation (including educating younger consumers). This will be underpinned by a foundation of aligned pre-farmgate work.
Prioritising this work, combined with a reduction in total income, means that some work must be reduced or stopped.
Given the relatively low score for environmental work – and knowing that others in the industry are involved in this area – we have decided not to increase funding for this work for now. However, we know this subject is of high importance to consumers. So, we are committed to maintaining a conversation with you, to ensure that the environment stays on the agenda and the sector stays on the front foot.
Work to improve animal health and welfare is important – not only for animals but for the profitability of the industry and to assure consumers of high welfare standards. Vets and others carry out valuable work in this area, so we have asked AHDB to review its existing work to avoid duplication. While much was retained following this review, we have directed AHDB to discontinue the Pig Health Scheme and Real Welfare programmes unless alternative funding can be rapidly established.
The work around people in agriculture received the lowest scores in the vote. We take that to mean that, while an important subject, using levy money to invest in this area is not desirable. We have directed AHDB to carry out work around labour supply only if it relates to training that can uniquely be facilitated by the levy (for example, welfare training that forms part of the Red Tractor standards).
While PigPro has been a valuable asset there are now alternatives and so, after a period of transition, this work will be stopped.
Your council – next steps and contacting us
The sector council has firm measures in place for each area of work that AHDB delivers on your behalf.
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