Danish pig farmers aim for export expansion and economic growth

Pig Congress in the Jutland town of Herning has recently left industry leaders optimistic that they can add three billion kroner and 3,000 jobs to the Danish economy. The “Herning Declaration” poses a new strategy for raising pigs for slaughter that would increase the number of pigs in Denmark by two million over the next two years. By increasing production, Denmark will have a greater share of the export market.

Denmark exports enough pork products to China annually to amount to one container every hour of every day. This puts China on par with Denmark’s other largest importer of pork products, Germany, which imports roughly 2.4 billion kroner of pork a year from Denmark

Nicolaj Norgaard, the head of the Pig Research Centre said that increasing slaughter pig production will make Denmark more competitive in an export market. 

“We have the answer to economic growth for Denmark,” said NicolajNørgaard.

“Now we can produce more with less environmental emissions because of advances in technology and feed conversion rates are higher in new barns,” he added.

But the payout won’t be possible unless the government recognises the industry’s potential and encourages Danish farmers to expand their businesses, Nørgaard said.

“It’s difficult for farmers to get capital for investment. We need support for new investment,” Nørgaard said, adding that the investments would help bring down the cost of production.

Denmark currently has 5,000 pig farms and a total herd size of about 15 million – roughly three times the population.

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