It is impossible for anyone in the UK, as well as other parts of the globe, to ignore the realities of Brexit. It will happen and MPs along with scores of lobbyists are meeting to work out the many, many details. For those in agriculture, and particularly pig producers, things can seem a bit overwhelming. Because talks are ongoing, it can be very difficult for farmers to know the best ways to use capital in order to gain a competitive edge in the new economy.
Interestingly enough, one of the clearest set of facts to emerge can be gleaned from a comment by National Pig Association senior policy advisor Ed Barker. He indicated that improvements in existing legislation are an “opportunity” for the government, and that priorities within the industry should be “incentives for improving buildings, mechanisms to counter volatility, insurance options, R&D in areas like health, welfare and resource efficiency and more resource for export promotion.”
This is a very significant comment because it emphasizes the fact that UK producers are some of the only in the world to eliminate the use of sow stalls and certain antibiotics, leading to some of the most welfare-oriented methods. By incentivizing building improvements, legislators would be able to further ensure that the UK’s farmers will remain capable of upholding humane standards and operating competitively in the global market.
In June of 2018 a report from Food Research Collaboration called for “a better Brexit for farm animals” and offered a list of steps the Government should consider in order to protect the UK’s superior welfare standards. Emphasizing closing gaps in standards between UK producers and trading partners, the goals include animal welfare simultaneous to protections for UK farmers. One thing is certain, UK farmers are not likely to abandon their humane methods and so it makes sense to invest or re-invest in better buildings and commit to ongoing R&D into animal welfare.
IDS Pigs is noted as the leading supplier of complete systems, pig farm buildings and equipment to the UK Pig industry. Emphasizing existing welfare standards, they offer bespoke solutions.