Teagasc explains the Pig Supply Chain Lean Initiative

The official announcement of the Pig Supply Chain Lean Initiative was announced by Teagasc last month.

Ciarán Carroll, editor of the Teagasc Advisory Newsletter, explained that the initiative is based on the pilot programme collaboration between Teagasc, Bord Bia, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Enterprise Ireland.

He added that funding has been made available via the Department of Agriculture to roll out the programme on a broader scale.

According to Carroll, this will support the application of ‘lean principles’ in pig production in Ireland to address current and future challenges for the pig sector.

The programme for 2019 will comprise of two key elements:
  • On-Farm Initiative: Large roll-out of Lean Start and Lean plus projects for pig producers;
  • Bord Bia market research component.

Teagasc will lead the operational and technical management of the on-farm initiative.

The targeted outcome of the programme is to achieve real and significant efficiency improvements at pig producer level.

Bord Bia, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, will administer the project and lead research across a number of international markets that highlight opportunities for Irish pigmeat export plants.

The focus for 2019 is a series of Lean Start and Lean Plus projects on a number of pig farms.

The on-farm programme will be available to all Republic of Ireland pig producers who are members of the Bord Bia Pigmeat Quality Assurance Scheme.

On-Farm Programme

According to Teagasc, a key part of the on-farm programme will focus on farm feed efficiency through a best practice benchmarking process.

An improvement in feed efficiency at farm level will lead to: reduced waste; a reduced cost of production; an improvement in international cost competitiveness; and better sectorial sustainability through lower nutrient wastage.

The programme will comprise a number of Lean Start and Lean Plus projects.

Lean Start for Farms: The key action area here will focus on factors affecting wean-sale Feed Conversion Efficiency (FCE), as this is the main cost factor.

The framework for the project would be based on each farm completing the initial in-depth questionnaire of wean-sale FCE best practices.

This would then form the basis for a specific ‘lean practice’ implementation programme for each pig farm, Carroll explained.

The programme on each farm would then be judged on a re-evaluation of the best practice questionnaire, allied to a standardised financial saving calculator and a standardised cost of production/kg.

Lean Plus for Farms: The key focus in this programme would encompass all of the ‘Lean Start’ action areas and deliverables.

A copy of the full newsletter is available here.