23rd June 2010

New £383,000 business efficiency project for Scottish pig supply chain

A new Quality Meat Scotland project to develop further business efficiency in the Scottish pig supply chain, was announced today (Thursday, June 24) at the Royal Highland Show.

The £383,000 project will be funded by the Scottish Government’s Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation Grant Scheme with support from Vion UK. It includes three key activity areas - the appointment of a meat technician; the development of information systems and consumer insight work.

“The meat technician will be employed to take carcass and eating quality measurements in Scottish pig processing plants, allowing us to enhance product consistency,” said Andy McGowan, Head of Industry Development, QMS.

“The introduction of a central database will enable rapid communication of market, health and performance information throughout the pig supply chains, whilst respecting commercial sensitivities of individual companies,” Mr McGowan added.

A further part of the IT development work in the project will see Vion UK’s FarmingNet Scheme rolled out to all its Scottish pig farming partners.

This scheme, which has just been introduced at Vion’s Brydock pig farming operations, is designed to provide rapid feedback of enhanced management information to pig farmers and, as a result, drive performance and quality improvements.

Vion has been working to adapt the programme - being successfully used in its Dutch pigmeat operations - for the UK business.

Key initial features of the scheme, being demonstrated to pig producers attending this week’s Royal Highland Show, are:

  • Rapid text message summary information on the slaughter batch
  • Same day slaughter data including summary statistics
  • Simple graphics – probe, weight and price deviations for each batch
  • Trend data to compare unit performance over time
  • Benchmarking options to compare your pigs against your marketing group
  • Health information from MHS carcass scoring schemes

A further area of the project will focus on stepping up the industry’s knowledge of consumer and retailer trends and communicating that back to the processors and producers as quickly and clearly as possible.

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