15 May 2017, 15:45 PM
AHDB Pork Blog
I thought going to Germany would be the perfect opportunity to live up to the motto ‘eat more pork’ as the Germans do eat such a lot of it – about 53.1kg per person per year, which is a lot more than the average person in the UK eats, at 24.5kg. Maybe there’s something we can learn from them about how to get pork into the psyche of the British population and the younger generation in particular.
Obviously this wasn’t the only reason for going. The main reason for the flying 36-hour visit to Futterkamp, a demonstration and research facility near Hamburg, was to look at a range of novel building materials, equipment and techniques which could help improve production efficiency.
Being able to see so many systems in parallel, under one roof, was unusual and really convenient. Some of the systems we saw included:
- Farrowing pens
- Flooring materials
- Ventilation systems
- Growing and finishing pens
The other unusual thing about Futterkamp is the permanent exhibition of products and equipment. As well as being a permanent fixture, they have days throughout the year where they focus on different sectors. Perhaps we should consider doing something like this in the UK.
Of course, study tours aren’t just about what you visit, but what you learn from other members of the group as well. I like the term ‘knowledge (co)-generation’, which is an important part of the work we do and should not be underestimated. Often the best solutions to a business problem are the ones which people come up with together (often over a pint of beer).
We took several college/university lecturers with us on this trip. As a former lecturer, I know it’s hard to keep up with new developments in the industry, so they were pleased to get some ideas for their teaching. They were also able to learn more about what we do as a team and the wonderful resources we produce.
Feedback from participants
Mark Campbell, Curriculum Manager, Livestock and Food, Plumpton College said: “This trip has really opened my eyes to new, modern methods of pig production, providing some exciting ideas that we can use in the new development at Plumpton.”
Dr Nicola Blackie, Senior Lecturer in Animal Science, Writtle University Collegesaid: “A really useful visit. I have learnt loads and cannot believe how many things we got to look at. I will add more buildings/ventilation aspects to my lectures.”
If you’d like to know more about this trip, or how to get involved with future trips, get in touch. You will also find more photos in our photo story library.
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By AHDB Pork at 15 May 2017, 15:45 PM