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Published on Oct. 29, 2019

Spanish Pork Market: Excelling and Expanding

If you listed the world’s top pork exporters alphabetically, Spain would fall between Russia and the United Kingdom. When it comes to growth and potential, however, Spain is second to none. They may be the biggest pork producer in Europe today, but this pork powerhouse is aiming even higher. In large part, how high they go will depend on their ability to overcome challenge and seize opportunity.

“Spain’s success is due to a combination of factors,” said Nicolas Alvarez Hoggan, General Manager of South & Central East Europe Swine for Hendrix Genetics. “Its business model includes large, efficient integration systems able to supply a successful pork export industry, and it boasts an abundance of available land and the opportunity for rural sustainability.”

In this environment, Spain will have to deal with new requirements from society and consumers as well as extreme biosecurity measures to avoid disease problems that could ban exports.

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The biggest challenge for Spain at the moment is staying free from ASF (African Swine Fever) and continuing to increase meat exports to other countries. Another challenge is the image of intensive production from the consumer’s point of view and the pressure of ecologist groups against ‘macro farms’

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José Ángel Pedrido Rey
Customer Services Manager Swine for Hendrix Genetics

To address these issues, Hypor is focused on continuous improvement in the areas of animal welfare, sustainability, prudent use of resources and environmentally friendly swine production. In the process, the company is positioning itself perfectly to meet the genetic demands of the Spanish market.

“On the one side, Piétrain meat producers are requiring boars with efficient feed conversion, strong growth and good carcass yield,” said Pedrido Rey. “At the same time, Duroc customers seek a boar offering superior meat quality in terms of back fat, intramuscular fat and tenderness.”

Overall, Spanish producers require a well balanced animal that is able to grow without antibiotics and shows resilience against different diseases and finishing conditions.

Against that backdrop, Hypor appears to be the perfect fit.

“We have the most balanced sow in the world in our Libra*, and our Maxter is tops when it comes to Piétrain growth,” said Pedrido Rey. “The Hypor Magnus produces the best meat at the lowest cost, and our Kanto is renowned for yielding the ultimate in pork quality.”

Then there is Spain’s “crown jewel” in terms of meat quality: the Iberian sow. Hypor provides breeding support for Iberian sow farmers, and the Hypor Kanto pairs best with the Iberian sow to produce “premium” products that are in demand and offer attractive returns.

Additionally, as a country of large integrators, Spain places a premium on another attribute for which Hypor excels: daily gain.

“Feed conversion has always been a top priority for producers,” said Pedrido Rey. “Yet due to sector growth and a shortage of finishing spaces in Spain, daily gain (growth ratios) is becoming a critical quality that is increasingly in demand.”

In addition to providing superior products and exceptional customer service, Hypor has managed well in adapting to Spain’s rapidly changing market dynamics over the last several years.

“The country’s enormous concentration of production - the 20 biggest companies produce more than 40% of total pork output – and skyrocketing exports has meant that to succeed, genetic companies must be cost efficient and adept at fitting processor demands,” said Hoggan.

Given that they collaborate with, and supply, Spain’s most important players in the pork sector, Hypor appears headed in the right direction.

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Hypor is one of the leaders in the Spanish market, with a presence in several big operations. We are working to increase our market share with our customers and engage new clients to consolidate our leadership position

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José Ángel Pedrido Rey
Customer Services Manager Swine for Hendrix Genetics

In the process, Hypor is achieving maximum benefit for its customers on a number of fronts.

“Through prudent product management, we can offer solutions that are tailor made for Spain’s unique market requirements, along with local support and supply,” said Hoggan. “We are also well positioned to capitalize on the immense quantity of data available in Spain, and pig breeding is all about data. By developing systems to manage all of this input in collaboration with our customers, we will tap into another dimension of swine breeding.”

Though Hypor has made significant progress in the Spanish market, the best may be yet to come.

“We’ve achieved tremendous gains in recent years regarding feed conversion, daily gain, total born and other metrics,” said Pedrido Rey. “Going forward, elements like genetic selection, big data and thermography are opening a new world of possibilities and enabling us to develop animals that are more efficient, sustainable and resilient.”

No wonder then, that Spain tops the list of growing pork powers, and that Hypor tops the list of genetic companies driving that growth.

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