Managing director Mike McLaughlin puts this down to pig farmers appreciating the need to invest to keep their businesses competitive if they are to survive in the future.
“Pig producers realise that they have got to be efficient or get out. Doing nothing is not an option,” he said. “I know some producers will want to recoup previous losses before investing but they are in danger of missing the boat. There is never a good time to be inefficient and the UK finishing building stock is badly in need of investment”
The company reported a return of confidence last summer and this has been followed through with firm orders for accommodation for all classes of pig, with farrowing, weaner and finisher houses being in demand.
Mr McLaughlin acknowledges that the strong Euro is helping to underpin pig prices, but says that today’s producers are aware that this situation will not last and they will be back to competing with imports again sooner or later.
“In Denmark it’s a fact of life that the number of pig farmers halves roughly every decade and only the most efficient survive,” he pointed out.
However, he believes that, due to environmental pressures, the Danish and Dutch industries will contract further so any growth in their exports elsewhere will take pressure off the UK market. New threats could come from the increasingly-strong Spanish industry — now the second-largest in Europe — and the Eastern European countries, such as Poland, where costs are low.
ARM Buildings has been running flat out to meet demand for its new piggeries such as this one.