Published on Jan. 29, 2020
Fashioning the Perfect Fit a Challenge in Italy
Like the custom-tailored suits that put Italy on the map, the key to success in the country’s pork genetics sector is finding the right fit for a demanding consumer. It’s not a task for the faint of heart, but the rewards make it well worth the effort.
Italy is a very specific market that is focused primarily on Parma DOP ham production. The pigs required for that task are heavy (165 – 170 kg slaughter live weight), nine months of age and with 2 cm of fat around the ham. The biggest challenge is to pair those quality requirements with high efficiency for the producer.
Apart from those requirements, there are a number of factors and trends that must be considered for success in Italy. Its pork industry uses AI (artificial insemination) centers instead of on-farm boars, and breeders buy F1 gilts and stock to produce their own replacement stock for easy management. As well, like many countries today, Italy is seeing more and more concentration of sow units in the hands of larger producers.
Perhaps most significantly, Italy is a small niche market with only 430.000 sows. As a result, the larger breeding companies are reluctant to invest heavily in developing a product to fill such limited demand. Against that backdrop, Hypor stands out as one of the few companies that offer a complete range of products to satisfy the Italian market.
For Italian producers, two of the most notable lines are the Hypor Libra* - which is both prolific and efficient in raising income and lowering expenses – and the Rocky boar.
“The Rocky boar is the result of the Duroc Blanco project in Spain,” said Greatti. “While its fat content exceeded the demands of that market, it proved perfectly suited to Italy, so that country has now become the focal point for the line. Rocky represents the ultimate blend of production factors, such as growth and FCI (food chain information required for every animal intended for human consumption), and is one of the most popular lines for Italian ham production. Animals with superior daily gain and good FCI are, as a consequence, leaner.”
As a company, Hypor offers the best of both worlds to clients in Italy. In addition to being part of the largest multi-species breeding company in the world (Hendrix Genetics), it has extensive experience with niche products that it can apply to the Italian market.
Going forward, Hypor has a few key priorities in building on its current success in Italy.
We want to develop our breeding program with greater conviction to give us advantages over competitors who are holding back because of Italy’s limited pork market. We also want to open an AI centre in the country and build on multiplication and selection activities to satisfy Italian demand without the need for importation.
While Hypor’s product quality is second to none, the company aims to raise its visibility in Italy and demonstrate a firm commitment to the local market.
“Customers are more confident when they can see that we are investing in their success and are offering products specifically developed for their needs, rather than adapted from elsewhere. Our ultimate goal is to satisfy Italian customers with the best quality and production value, while continuing to explore new market opportunities.”