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All news / Genesus Global Market Report: France, May 2018

  • 03 May 2018, 11:10

Beginning of April 2018 price for a piglet was €25.44 compared to €36.91 same period last year. The average price for a 25 kg feeder pig was €1.64 per kg compared to €2.32 same period last year (that is €17 cheaper than 1 year ago).

by Philippe Mallétroit, Director France, Genesus Inc.

We also find these low prices for finisher pigs, where the average for the month of April 2018 is €1.190 per kg. When we compare the average price for April over the last 10 years, we can see that it is positioned around €1.306.

The 2018 cumulative average is today at €1.174

With the arrival of the nice weather, good for barbecuing, it should help boost domestic consumption, even if the 4 holidays in the month of May, should lead to postponed slaughter.

Labour for pig farming – a rare commodity

How many times have you heard “I’m looking for a pig farmer, I’m lacking manpower, would you know anyone?”

Lack of workers in pig farming is a recurrent problem that has become more prominent in recent years in both low density swine areas and in Brittany area, the 1st swine producing region in France

For many years, typical pig farming (like many other productions) was based on a family model, where husband, wife and (or) parents were involved in the business, and nobody counted their hours of work.

Today, even though this model still continues, the size of livestock herds have increased in recent years in France, from an average size of farrow-to-finish of 107 sows in 1995 to approx. 200 sows in 2018*.

What’s more, life expectations are different today especially among the younger generation, and no one is ready to become a slave of his livestock by working 7 days a week without ever taking a rest. In a recent study by the producer’s organization, one of the main motivations for the farmers was to hire employees. Employees are inevitable, but hard to find.

Is this due to lack of interest for the job? Probably more a misunderstanding of the trade and a bad image conveyed by certain people or badly intentioned media.

Also, when you have a good team of competent employees, it’s essential to be able to keep them. Of course, this means offering good working conditions, but also by having animals easy to work with; few interventions around farrowings, calmer sows, low mortality, … Genesus genetics is adaptable to any type of management, and meets all these criteria’s.

Share of labour in the cost price.

Farms with one or more employees must keep in mind that labor is one of the most important cost factors. In France on a farrow-to-finish farm, the workforce represents 12% of the cost of return with a difference of €0.085/kg carcass between the 1/3 superior and 1/3 inferior, which means a difference of €8 per pig (based on carcass weight of 95 kg).

Therefore, it is important to optimize the work time for each station.

Let’s take an example for the maternity station; If your sows do not need extra surveillance during farrowing and if these same sows raise their piglets without you having to equalize litters several times or have to add milk products to make them gain weight, then the time spend (or the number of workers) can be reduced in your livestock, and your cost of production improves.

Genesus sow can bring you this working comfort.

References: Pork by numbers 2017-2018, Breton Pork market.

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