Skip to main content

How to engage the Consumer?

Traditionally the EPP Congress is a unique opportunity for the European pig sector to share experiences and knowledge about one of the most important industries in the European agricultural sector. During the gathering 2024 in Nantes the focus was on the consumers.

The EPP Congress 2024 which was held 29-31 May 2024 in the heart of Europe, shows that engaging consumers effectively requires a multi-pronged approach. We as part of the food chain have to deal with many factors, such as:

Transparency   

Providing clear information about production methods, animal welfare practices and environmental sustainability efforts.

Sustainability   

Highlighting commitment to sustainable practices like renewable feed, food and energy use, waste reduction and responsible water management. Consumers increasingly seek out products that align with their values.

Traceability      

Building trust through comprehensive traceability systems that allow consumers to track the origin of their pork products.

Quality & Innovation   

Promoting the exceptional quality and taste of European pork, coupled with a focus on innovation. Developing new products that cater to diverse consumer preferences.

Many interesting topics, but at the end pork needs to be tasteful, available and not too expensive for the consumer. Farmers can provide this when production is economically sustainable as well. This means if a consumer / foodchain pays for their requirements, we produce it the way they want.

Besides what most consumers still think it is obvious that there is food in their stores, we have more and more to deal with food security - even in Europe! This means the ability of all people to access sufficient, safe and nutritious food still remains a central concern.

Our world faces a growing population, coupled with the ever-present threat of climate change and resource scarcity.

The question “How to engage the Consumer” was answered during the Congress in different ways and from different perspectives. We should keep a direct link to consumers and should use social networks to engage especially the younger generation in the cities which never had a direct contact to farms. These clients have no idea how food is going to be produced. We should send clear information about animal welfare and environmental impact to them, so labelling of meat has still an important issue for us.

Production without considering the needs & wants of consumers will lead us into a dead end. Of course, EU regulations should also consider the needs & wants of farmers. Sustainability means also that running a farm has to be economically as well. Only in that case farmers are willing and able to improve production and to invest in innovative technology.

EuroTier in November will show a lot of innovations of the sector, so we are already looking forward to our next gathering which will be arranged within this important exhibition.  
 


Gert van Beek
Pig Farmer in the Netherlands and Germany
President of the European Pig Producers (EPP) e.V.