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Ben Williams

Knowledge Transfer Senior Manager

AHDB Pork Knowledge Exchange


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T: work 024 7647 8623

Study Tours

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AHDB Pork organises and runs several study tours for producers each year. 

Study tour to IrelandThe tours are aimed at looking at new technologies and/or production systems, both in the UK and overseas. They are usually 50% funded by AHDB Pork, with the remaining 50% coming from a commercial company. If producers are interested in viewing a particular system or technology overseas, or have an idea for a study tour, they should contact their knowledge transfer manager.

Recent Study Tours

Germany and the Netherlands

Activity: The purpose of this trip was to visit a commercial farm which is using a 'balcony system', as well as to find out about the research behind it. The balcony system, as the name suggests, consists of a second level within a pen, accessed via a ramp, which provides additional space allowance for the pigs.

Who: AHDB Pork and David Goodier (Strategic Farmer)

Sponsored by: AHDB Pork


Activity: Participants attended SPACE, an international trade fair for livestock, to widen their knowledge. New technologies, research and products were all on show and the group discovered new and interesting designs for grower and farrowing pens.

Who: Members of the Stockperson Pro (East) training group

Sponsored by: AHDB Pork


Activity: The main reason for this 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.

Who: AHDB Pork and several college lecturers

Sponsored by: AHDB Pork


Activity: Participants visited two farms as well as an agricultural university, and met Swedish producers for a pig club-style meeting. The focus of the trip was to look at welfare in Swedish production systems, including building design, equipment and environmental systems.

Who: Seven producers and representatives from Garth Vets, AHDB Pork and Zoetis

Sponsored by: AHDB Pork and Zoetis


Activity: Participants visited two high-performing pig business, one new pig farm under construction and a finishing unit. The focus of the visit was on pH reduction of slurry, to see the Intellifarm® ventilation system and meeting the building designer. The trip concluded with a visit to Agromek (Northern Europe’s largest agricultural fair) where participants saw the latest technologies available to the pig industry.

Who: Six producers and a representative from Newcastle University

Sponsored by: AHDB Pork


Activity: Participants looked at high performing pig businesses, with a focus on using milk cups and understanding their benefits. Presentations were given by a Dutch vet on reducing antibiotic usage on farm.



Activity: A visit to Eurotier (the world’s leading trade fair for animal production) to look at the latest technologies available to the English pig industry.

Who: Six producers, representatives from Garth Pig Practice

Sponsored by: Garth Pig Practice and AHDB Pork



Activity: Participants looked at high performing pig businesses and also had a tour of the Hipra facility.

Who: Eight producers, representatives from Garth Pig Practice, Scotlean and Hipra

Sponsored by: Scotlean, Garth Pig Practice, Hipra and AHDB Pork


Activity: A visit to a salmon farm and a poultry business to look at vaccination efficiencies and how the pig industry could apply similar techniques.

Who: Six producers

Sponsored by: MSD & AHDB Pork



Activity: The trip included a visit to a high performing outdoor Karro unit, as well as presentations about the Karro Food Group. Participants also listened to presentations from Dennis Bridgeford (pig producer), Grace Webster and Allan Ward (Quality Meat Scotland), that covered the benefits and financial implications of a partial de-stock, along with how Dennis Bridgeford had been able to improve the cost of production (CoP) through conducting a partial de-stock. QMS also presented on how they support producers in Scotland.

Who: Seven outdoor producers and three indoor producers

Sponsored by: AHDB Pork


Activity: A trip to look at environmental and buildings issues, including reducing emissions, increasing profits and complying with legislation at the same time

Producers representing a large proportion of the pigs reared in England, vets, nutritionists, researchers and the Environment Agency

Sponsored by:

Report: Download report

Photo stories:
 Intellifarm conceptpH reduction of slurry and new farm construction in Denmark

Flanders, Belgium

Activity: Two farm visits looking at slurry flushing systems and bio-scrubbers

A small group comprised of producers, AHDB Pork and AIG

Sponsored by:


Activity: Two farm visits looking at ventilation systems (automatically controlled ACNV)

Nine producers along with AHDB Pork and AIG

Sponsored by:
Boehringer Ingelheim 


Activity: To see how producers in the Netherlands achieve an average of 30 pigs weaned/sow/year while routinely keeping sows to eight parities and to look at feeding and managing sows for longevity and reduced replacement rate

A small group comprised of producers, AHDB Pork and AIG

Sponsored by:
Zarkos-Smith Associates Ltd and SwiNco


Activity: study tour to Holland to look at antimicrobial usage

representatives from the NPA, Veterinary Medicines Directorate, AHDB Pork, veterinary practices and producers

Sponsored by:
Pig Health and Welfare Council and AHDB Pork

Report: click here

Study tour to Ireland