‘Do not let suppliers and customers fix everything’ – Interview Varkens


Interview grise

Today at 11:55

The Dutch Agricultural Youth Contact (NAJK) released its vision for the future of pig breeding this week. In summary, this means that the sector must seek a balance between animal welfare, a fair income model, company size and social support. Boerenbusiness discussed the sector’s perspective with Tim van der Mark, CEO of NAJK.

The future outline comes at a time when the entire pig farming sector is under significant economic pressure. NAJK developed a vision by asking young pig breeders where they want to go with their business, how the business develops along with it, and what the environment will look like. Business successors have clear ambitions and want to make their companies even more sustainable in the environment, climate and animal welfare. For this, however, it is necessary to improve the position in the chain, in order to also achieve a fair distribution of margins for the primary sector. “As NAJK, we have a role to play in outlining a realistic perspective for young pig breeders. Take matters into your own hands. There is certainly a future for enterprising market-conscious pig breeders.”

Does NAJK notice that there is concern among young pig breeders about the current market situation and the related perspective?
“Yes, it is clear that young pig farmers are even more concerned about their future than young entrepreneurs in other livestock sectors. This is of course partly due to the fact that they are working hard on how to further improve social acceptance, but also due to a difficult “economic situation facing the sector. It requires entrepreneurship to map the right path for yourself and the company in this field.”

The position in the chain has been a topic of discussion for decades. Can pig farmers, if they choose to produce for the world market, have the illusion that politicians and other companies in the chain are working to improve the revenue model?
“Personally, I think it’s too simplistic to say that we as a primary sector can not demand anything from our chain partners. Provided that it is first and foremost the pig breeder’s task as an entrepreneur to develop its revenue model in the chain.” The greatest need probably lies with companies in the primary sector, because suppliers and buyers have the tools to secure their margins, but there is also a mutual interest and it is difficult for pig breeders to realize all their own chains. in Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam with a very large group of relatively wealthy consumers. There are opportunities for the whole chain that can only be grasped together. “

The market price of bulk products is always determined by supply and demand, have we become too expensive for this market?
“There are always companies that have a revenue model in this market with a strong focus on cost management. However, we must also outline a realistic perspective, for many entrepreneurs the cost price for the bulk market is too high. We at NAJK therefore believe that the number of companies producing for this market will shrink further in the coming years. to become.”

The vision also mentions the importance of equal terms, what is important in that regard?
“In the coming decades, many new initiatives are planned at European level, especially to improve animal welfare. These are moments where we need to standardize the rules. I mean not only for livestock farming, but also the creation of a level playing field. It can not be the case that we import products from countries outside Europe that do not at least meet the requirements we set here. Fortunately, we as NAJK feel that there is a clear political focus on this issue. . “

What else can NAJK do to further support young entrepreneurs?
“What we consider important for start-up entrepreneurs is the availability of independent information and knowledge. The supply of ‘colored’ news is plentiful, and it is sometimes difficult for young people to appreciate everything, that feeling is only developed over time. In that Sense we are an independent organization with no commercial interests Young people must be able to make choices based on correct and factual knowledge In addition, we also want to outline a realistic perspective for young entrepreneurs: The time when you could earn a good life by simply putting the finishing touches on the whole day in the barn is a thing of the past for many companies. As a pig breeder you are an entrepreneur, use that strength. We are no longer the soloists who are constantly in our barn and have everything arranged by suppliers and customers Take matters into your own hands and make your own sandwich this way.It is sometimes perceived as very unusual and often one has to be stubborn to it.be r. Expand your horizons, see what is happening around you and adjust your n revenue model then. It will be a very important issue in the future. “


Stef Wissink

Stef Wissink is an editor at Boerenbusiness and writes about the current market development in the dairy and pig market. He also follows Dutch and international agribusiness.

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