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Innovation and collaboration will be the focus of this year’s British Pig & Poultry Fair – helping producers secure a low carbon future. New... Flagship industry event opens door to success

Innovation and collaboration will be the focus of this year’s British Pig & Poultry Fair – helping producers secure a low carbon future.

New technologies and advice on disease management and alternative proteins will also be among the topics at the two-day event, which takes place on 15-16 May at the Birmingham NEC.

“It is the job of everyone in the supply chain to work together to reduce the industry’s carbon impact, and new thinking and technology provide some of the answers here,” says fair organiser Alice Bell.

Listening system 

One example is a new pig “listening” system. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to monitor coughs and forecast the potential onset of respiratory diseases.

Developed by Boehringer Ingelheim, tests have shown the system can detect issues such as PRRS and Mycoplasma hyopneumonaiae five days earlier than by human observation alone.

With more rapid treatment and management, this was calculated to improve daily growth rates by an average of 12.7g, reduce antibiotic treatments by 23.4%, and generate a 1:4 return on investment.

Pig and poultry producers could both benefit from a new digital emergency planner from Livetec Systems. It helps farmers prepare for events ranging from flooding to notifiable disease outbreaks.

Rapid response

“This is critical when farm businesses are under pressure to respond quickly,” says Livetec technical director Julian Sparrey.

“It details everything those coming on to the farm will need to know, as well as informing the farmer of how these next steps will play out.”

Egg producer James Baxter will explain how a robust contingency plan saved him £45,000 by reducing the amount of time before depopulation could start following an avian influenza outbreak.

 Another Innovation Theatre session will examine how a new highly absorbent straw crumb is being provided free to farmers when manure is processed into biomethane and biobased fertiliser.

This fertiliser can be used to displace predominantly imported fossil fuel fertilisers, to grow the next cereal crops and their resultant straws, which begins the process again.

Alternative feeds

A forum on insect farming, with Beta Bugs and Flybox talking about their combined solution which takes complexity and cost out of insect farming, by supplying eggs and larvae in containerised systems.

“Demand for insect protein as alternatives to existing feed ingredients is increasing, making insect farming a mainstream opportunity,” says Beta Bugs chief executive Thomas Farrugia. 

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Expert speakers address key issues

Some 330 exhibitors are due to attend the Pig and Poultry Fair – with visitors able to listen to dozens of speakers. “This is a chance to discuss the challenges and topical issues of the day,” says Charlotte Evans of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. “As an industry we can tackle the road ahead together.”


Headline sessions in each discussion theatre include pig, egg and poultry meat outlooks. This will see speakers from across the supply chain share their views on the prospects for their specialist sectors.

Other pig forums include contingency planning for African Swine Fever, and a practical workshop looking at how slurry and waste management can help farmers on their journey to net zero.

One session will examine how young people can be encouraged to eat more pork; another will explore grants available for new poultry equipment and infrastructure.

Fair partner ABN will explain how precision feeding and sustainable replacements for soya are set to be a key part of reducing carbon emissions, improving efficiencies and profitability.