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Spanish Pork Awards Set for Zaragoza

03 October 2013

SPAIN - The 20th anniversary of the Spain's Porc d'Or awards takes place for the first time in Zaragoza on 22 November.

For 20 years now, the prestigious Porc d'Or awards for pig production excellence recognise the work performed by a thriving sector within the Spanish economy.

Murcia and Almeria have joined this year's edition, in a classification led once again by Catalonia, with 53 nominations and 34 candidate farms (25 in Barcelona - 39 nominations; seven in Lleida - 12 nominations; and two in Tarragona, each with one nomination), followed by Aragon, with 27 nominations.

The 86 candidate farms - nine more than in the last edition - belong to different categories that are established according to the number of sows in the exploitation.

There are a total of 122 nominations distributed following the different established selection criteria: born alive, birth rate and productivity.

For this edition, 636 farms were assessed, with an average of 973 sows per farm for a total of 618,828 breeders, representing approximately 30 per cent of the national census.

The communication by the jury of the 20th edition of the Porc d'Or prestigious award for pig production excellence of the 86 participating farms from 11 autonomous communities, a total of 122 nominations, that aim winning some of the coveted gold, silver or bronze trophies, is the starting of the big annual event in the Spanish swine sector, one of the most thriving in our economy.

The event is organised by the Institute for Research and Technology in Food and Agriculture (IRTA), linked to the Department of Agriculture of the Government of Catalonia, with the collaboration of Zoetis (former Pfizer Animal Health), a leading company in products and services for the animal health sector, and for this edition also from the Government of Aragon.

The winners will be announced in the already traditional Porc d’Or award ceremony, which will be held this year for the first time in Zaragoza, one of the main producing provinces in Spain, on 22 November.

This year, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Porc d'Or, a trophy will be given to the farm that has been nominated more times at national level to these awards in any of its categories.

The Porc d'Or award gala is an unmissable event that will gather more than 700 people among producers and veterinaries from all Spain, companies and personalities linked with this sector, as well as local, autonomic, and national authorities.

Spain, second EU pig-producer country and fourth worldwide, exports 40 per cent of its production. In Spain, there are 26 millions pigs, including piglets, grower/finishers, breeding females and boars. The 42 million animals slaughtered annually produce 3.48 million tons of pork, which makes it the second pig producer in the European Union and fourth worldwide.

Data from 2011 indicate the contribution of the pig industry for the GDP was €4.5 billion, which is 12.4 per cent of total agricultural output and 34.2 per cent of total livestock production, making pig meat the biggest sector of the country's livestock industry.

Furthermore, Spain exports 1,369,527 tonnes (40 per cent of the production) annually, from which 1,057,771 tonnes are destined to other EU countries, and 311,756 metric tons to other countries.

The meat industry, with an estimated turnover of €19 billion, is one of the top five industrial sectors in the country, behind sectors such as the automotive industry, the oil and fuel industry, and the production and distribution of electricity.

Zoetis, recently created over 60 years of history of Pfizer's animal health business unit, is an independent company exclusively dedicated to animal health and to provide support to its clients and companies. Zoetis has around 10,000 employees and is present in 120 countries. The company discovers, develops and manufactures drugs and vaccines for veterinary use, complementing this with diagnostic products and the support of a wide range of services.

Zoetis says it is committed with the swine industry, not only reflected by the investment in R&D but also because of the support provided to initiatives that, in the case of the Porc d'Or awards, stimulate the improvement and growth of the pig productive sector in Spain. Furthermore, this year, the event has also the support of the Government of Aragon, an autonomous community closely linked with this sector, with around 5.5 million pigs and generating 10,173 jobs in the region.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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