Vincent ter Beek has been working for Pig Progress since 2005 and he became editor of the magazine and website two years later. Before joining Reed Business Information, later Misset, he worked as a journalist at a Dutch newspaper and as a college teacher. He graduated from Groningen University in 2001, holds an MA in history and journalism and he followed a post-graduate journalism course in the United Kingdom. Being an agricultural ‘immigrant’, he quickly learnt his way in the pig industry. Still, he is able to observe the pig industry from a different angle.
Addressing the topic of sustainability is actually a sign of the times. When a sustainability topic can surface to become top of mind for many in the international pig industry, it would indicate that there are relatively few acute problems to deal with.
It doesn’t mean that sustainability isn’t important or urgent – far from it – but 2022 proved this point. The geopolitical conflict in Ukraine followed the Covid-19 pandemic as major global events, resulting in unstable markets, uncertain outlooks, raw material shortages, inflation and rising energy prices. In a market with these conditions, the question “How to produce sustainably?” is not top of mind with many professionals in the swine business, but more likely “How do we make ends meet?” In other words: the attention for sustainability may have been snowed under a little in 2022.
So, if the world could do with less turmoil to be able to prepare for what’s next, it pays off to understand a little what future political and market conditions could be. After all, these create the context for swine production of the future. This keynote lecture will try to address exactly that – what undercurrents can be identified as to what the world is heading for? What perspectives may exist for the pig industry, both for pig producers as well as pork consumers, in the years to come, inside Europe and beyond?