NFU Scotland’s New Generation Committee is teaming up with marketing co-op Scottish Pig Producers in a search for the pig farmers of tomorrow.
Both groups agree that the future looks bright for pig farming in Scotland and Scottish Pig Producers are looking to recruit new farmers.
The weak pound, investment from Tulip in new abattoir facilities at Brechin and increasing commitment to domestic pork from retailers has improved the outlook for pig production in Scotland.
To meet this demand, Scotland needs more pig farmers and, in particular, more finishing units.
Chief Executive of Scottish Pig Producers, Andy McGowan said: “We are looking for the next generation of pig farmers to drive the industry forward and add dynamism to the sector.
“To help new entrants to pig production on their way, we are working on a package with feed merchants and abattoirs to assist them. We are also putting in place a mentoring system involving existing producers so the new businesses have the best chance of success. It is an exciting time for Scottish pigs. We have strong market signals and there is growing optimism in the sector. If you are thinking of diversifying your business or looking for a new challenge, the time could be right as we have opportunities for both new and existing farmers. All that may be needed is a spare shed to finish animals.
Mark Donald, Chair of NFU Scotland’s New Generation committee said: “This is a fantastic example of cooperation to the benefit of both parties. The barriers to entry into this type of farming are much lower than in many other sectors. Indeed, some very successful farmers have started with only a shed and the drive to succeed.
“The New Generation group would be delighted to assist, where possible.”