Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Small Farms in Spain in Trouble

When I discuss Spain's pig sector, I normally mention the Iberian Black, a breed similar to the Mangalitsa.

I saw an article today about Spain's small pig farms going under:

Alberto Herranz, director of pig traders' association Ancoporc, predicted that some of Spain's less profitable pig farms would close in a the next five years.

"What we need to watch out for is whether or not this shift will leave production in the hands of large concerns, and if slaughter rates will be the same," he said in an interview.

Ancoporc estimates that 33 percent of Spanish pig farms on average raise less than than five head per year, and 25 percent less than 120 per year.
5 head of pigs per year is a hobby. The returns someone can get from fattening 5 hogs is almost nothing, because it doesn't take much labor or land to do it.

They don't mention it in this article, but the transformation in Spain's pig sector is like that happening in Southeast Asia: smallholders are exiting the business as some producers modernize things. The modern producers are much more efficient than the small guys.

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