Kate Morgan  -  High welfare systems - Can they meet world food demand?

I am 29 years old and live in the small town of Driffield in East Yorkshire. I am a Director of our family pig farm which has 1700 breeding sows and takes the progeny to slaughter, selling to Sainsbury’s via Cranswick. The whole family is involved in the business, my Mother and Father and also my two older sisters.

 I studied at Newcastle University and graduated in 2003 with a 2:1 joint hons in Agri Business Management. After University I worked in marketing but this was not for me! So I decided to do a ski season and then continued to spend a year travelling round the World. I have many hobbies, ranging from Eventing my two horses to playing hockey and running.

Project Details 

Study: High welfare systems - can they meet the increase for world demand for food?

As a business we are very focused on high welfare and are working closely with Sainsbury’s. I am also very aware of the increasing food demand which is always in the back of my mind, should we actually be focused on tonnes of meat produced rather than the method?

World population has increased massively and each day 200,000 more people are added to the world food demand and with rising incomes and dietary changes towards higher meat consumption we need to be planning how we are going to feed everyone. Meat production is particularly demanding in terms of energy, cereal and water. Today, nearly half of the world’s cereals are being used for animal feed, can this be sustained or do we need to be looking at different methods of feeding and do high welfare systems which compromise on performance fit into the changing world?

I would like to take my study to a number of different countries, Denmark because they are top performers in the EU and very forward thinking, Sweden, who have experienced a decrease in the herd and were quoted by The Swedish pig producers organisation that the decline could be related to significantly higher welfare demands in Sweden, China, because it is the largest producer of pork yet their average pigs per sow per year is a mere 13 compared to our average of 22, and finally America, because of the vast size of the businesses that operate there.