There were just under 794,000 pigs being reared in organic systems in the European Union (EU) in 2014, according to new figures from Eurostat, representing a fall of 1.5 percent from the previous year. Data from 20 of the community’s 28 members have been included for that year and 2013, the first year for which statistics were collected.
In 2014, Denmark had the most organic pigs – at almost 215,600 – but this was 10 percent down from the previous year’s count. France recorded an increase of 5.8 percent from 2013 to just under 213,000, followed by Germany with more than 195,000 animals, slightly more than the year before.
Estonia experienced the largest percentage increase in organic pig numbers between 2013 and 2014 of 139 percent, albeit from a fairly low level to 2,731. Slovenia’s count was up by 12.0 percent to 3,135, Hungary’s increased by 9.4 percent to 5,340 and the Dutch total was up 8.4 percent to 68,914. There were just under 2,000 organic pigs in the Czech Republic last year, 7.2 percent more than in 2013. Finland added 5,656 to the total with an increase of 3.9 percent.
Dramatic reductions in organic pig numbers were recorded by Romania (126 animals; -51.2 percent), Lithuania (256; -32.1 percent), Latvia (4,007; -24.2 percent), Poland (7,958; -18.6 percent) and Belgium (9,532; -16.0 percent). At 6,790, there were 12.9 percent fewer organic pigs in Spain in 2014 than 12 months previously and the count in Greece was down 2.8 percent at 4,664. There were 961 organic pigs in Croatia, 14.3 percent fewer than the year before.
Among the bigger producers, the U.K. count was down by 6.1 percent at just over 28,300 and Sweden recorded a decline of 4.3 percent to 19,666 pigs in organic systems.
Three countries have not yet reported figures for 2014. The previous year, Austria, Italy and Ireland had 70,935, 43,318 and 489 organic pigs, respectively.
Although not EU member states, Switzerland and Norway are included in the 2013 data set with 26,613 and 2,808 pigs, respectively. A year later, the Norwegian count was down 6.3 percent at 2,631.