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What is going on at the EPP?

When changes first become challenges and then new opportunities

Actually, the 30th anniversary of the European Pig Producer (EPP) Club should have been celebrated in 2020. Now, after a two-year break, Europe's pig producers could finally come together again to inform themselves and to network intensively.    

EPP President Gert van Beek, who was confirmed as President by the general assembly 18 May 2022, appealed in his opening speech at the EPP Congress in Tiel (Netherlands) to look positively ahead despite what is probably the most difficult phase in the sector for decades and to seek opportunities for one's own business in the numerous challenges. The title of the annual meeting "Full chances ahead - in a rapidly changing environment" was therefore very well chosen. His appeal to show solidarity with each other was also well received by the 250 participants.

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New representative of the EPP Danish Branch

During the board meeting on 18 May 2022, the long-time chairman of the Danish EPP Branch, Henrik Refslund Hansen, was bid farewell by EPP President Gert van Beek and EPP Manager Sven Häuser. Henrik succeeded Jörgen Mark in 2006 and has represented the Danish group on the board for over 16 years. During this time he has hardly missed a board meeting. The board members concluded by thanking him with regional specialties.

President van Beek welcomed Torben Henrik Lundsgaard as his successor. The 54-year-old managed a farm with 1000 sows in the south of Denmark and has been the new chairman of the Danish EPP Group since spring 2022.


Pig farmers in Europe are pinning all of their hopes on the summer

This week, the board of the European Pig Producers (EPP) e.V. again met up virtually in order to discuss the current situation on the pig markets and the framework conditions for European pig farmers. The pig farmers all appear to have one thing in common at present: they are waiting for the summer!

The coronavirus and the African swine fever virus are still having a major impact on the pig farmers' situation. The current COVID-19 pandemic developments are described similarly by the board members from Germany, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and South Africa. Following the outbreak of a third wave in all of these countries, things are gradually returning to normal everywhere. The only differences are in the progress being achieved in vaccination and the various prioritisation groups. While vaccination is being carried out downwards by age in the majority of countries, Denmark is now focussing on the younger generation after having completed vaccinating the over-80s. Conversely, South Africa is still in the midst of the third wave, and the country is currently making every effort to organise sufficient vaccine.

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Europe’s pig production driven by the development in China

Markus Fiebelkorn, market analyst at Danske Svineproducenter and EPP-Member in Denmark, gave an interesting presentation about the Global and the European pig market and price expectations for 2021. The market is strongly influenced by the development in China where African Swine Fever (ASF) lead to a decrease of pork production about 20% between 2018 and 2020. Therefore, China has still a strong demand for pork and meanwhile one of the biggest players exporting pork to China is Spain, which exported 933,940 tons of pork there in 2020 which means an increase about 144% compared to 2019.

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EPP 2020: Networking with restrictions

The board of directors of the European Pig Producers (EPP) e.V. usually meets three times a year in different countries to inform itself about the current framework conditions for pig farmers on site. Unfortunately, this direct exchange is also a victim of corona this year. To this end, the board members will meet more often in 2020 and exchange information digitally. This week, EPP President Gert van Beek (NL) was able to welcome 12 board members from seven countries to the 82nd EPP Board Meeting. Read how the current situation regarding African Swine Fever (ASF) and Covid-19 is described in the individual countries:

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Pig farming under difficult conditions in Europe

The board of directors of the European Pig Producers (EPP) e.V. usually meets three times a year in different countries to inform itself about the current framework conditions for pig farmers on site. Unfortunately, this direct exchange is also a victim of corona this year. To this end, the board members will meet more often in 2020 and exchange information digitally. This week, EPP President Gert van Beek (NL) was able to welcome 12 board members from seven countries to the 82nd EPP Board Meeting. Read how the current situation regarding African Swine Fever (ASF) and Covid-19 is described in the individual countries:

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First summit between European and Chinese pig experts in the cloud!

Nothing can stop international dialogue in animal production: the first virtual pig summit, the 'Sino-European Pig Summit Webinar', took place on 11 May.  At the invitation of DLG-International GmbH and the European Pig Producers (EPP) club, almost 200 farmers and experts from Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, South Africa, the United States, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam and another 17 countries took part in the virtual summit. The live broadcast participants also included media representatives from nine countries.

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Photo: Participants in the '1st Sino-European Pig Summit Webinar' (photo: Häuser)


24 January 2020: Happy Birthday, EPP!

It was January 24, 1990 in Denmark when a group of international pig farmers founded the European Pig Producers Club on the initiative of DLG during an agricultural fair in Herning.

Four presidents in 30 years

The network, founded in 1990 with 25 members from 5 countries, has developed into an independent organization with over 600 members from more than 20 countries and 11 national branches.

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Current Challenges for livestock farming and animal nutrition

EPP Vice President Taru Antikainen (Finland) participated in the Feed Additives Congress 25th and 26th September 2019 in Amsterdam and was part of a panel discussion about the present challenges in livestock and aqua production. The challenges in all areas of meat production seems to be the same…

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New EPP Branch South Africa founded!

EPP continues to grow and is now present also in the African continent! 
President Gert van Beek officially welcomes 10 new EPP-Members during the yearly sappo/AGM conference in South Africa as guest speaker.

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Taru Antikainen from Finland new EPP vice president

Finland's Taru Antikainen was elected as the new EPP vice president by members at the general meeting of the European Pig Producers (EPP) e.V. on June 7th 2019 in Landshut. She therefore succeeds the chairman of the German EPP Group, Jürgen Winkelmann, who no longer ran for a further term in office last year.

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Pig Farming in Europe: Learning from each other!

For the first time in the almost 30-year history of the association, the Managing Board of the European Pig Producers (EPP) e.V. met from 13-15 March 2018 in Finland. In addition to working through the agenda, a visit to a pig farm and a large slaughterhouse and consulting company were scheduled.

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EPP consolidates network in South Africa

The inaugural appearance of representatives from the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) at the 2018 EPP Congress in Switzerland recently prompted a three-day reciprocal visit by the EPP to the Johannesburg / Praetoria region.

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Former EPP-President Erik Thijssen awarded by DLG!

During this year’s Cattle & Pig Event at EuroTier 2018 our former president Erik Thijssen was honored by DLG president Hubertus Paetow. For his “candid, communicative and selfless nature” Erik Thijssen was awarded with the DLG silver medal for international relationship. Over his nine years of presidency countries like Ireland, Finland and Switzerland joined EPP alongside 80 new members. To Paetow, this indicates the success of Thijssen’s work.

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ASF: One minute before 12 o’ clock!

As EPP / Pig farmers we are already involved since the first outbreak years ago. Till last week it enters our nearby region it seems the rest of world is awakening. This could help us to control the challenge, and we should take that opportunity with both hands.
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Gert van Beek elected as new EPP President

At the General Assembly of the European Pig Producers (EPP) e.V. in Sursee (Switzerland) on 1 June 2018, the members elected Gert van Beek (51) from the Netherlands as their new President. He won the election in a secret ballot ahead of his fellow candidate Hugh McReynolds (56) from Ireland and thus succeeds Erik Thijssen, who had headed the Club for the last nine years.

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Pig rearing in the US: “Europe is 10 years ahead of us!”

During a week-long study trip from 17 – 24 September 2017 to the Midwest, 32 members of the EPP gained some interesting insights into pig production in the US. The group visited farms in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin to share information and experiences with famers in these regions.

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