Supporting small livestock farms is a duty. We shouldn’t squander the wealth of Italian businesses.
The last few years, especially since the crisis of 2008 onwards, have not been kind to the livestock sector. Small farmers in particular have borne the brunt with rises in management costs, taxation, and increasing difficulty accessing bank credit.
Consequently, small farmers have found themselves struggling, especially those that are more financially committed to enlarging their farm.
There has, therefore, been an increase in the use of agistment, an “old” type of contract between the company and the farmer to limit the costs of livestock production and to offer the company guarantees about the type of animal reared, how it is fattened, any treatments that are necessary and which feed is used.
With agistment, Fumagalli trusts breeders with its own piglets, provides feed and growth protocols, agrees controls and sends vets when necessary.
The farm offers its expertise and labour and covers its own overheads, but it does not have to shoulder the costs for the purchase of pigs and their feed.
Once the fattening cycle has been completed, according to the agreement signed, the farmers are rewarded with a sum of money for each pig they have reared or alternatively they negotiate to keep a number of the animals, with which they can decide what to do themselves.
Potential suppliers of Fumagalli Food Industry SpA have to agree to fulfil all the company’s protocols. Thus, Fumagalli obtains a guarantee about product quality and can maintain full tracking criteria regarding their supply chain in order to maximise safety.
There a number of advantages for the farmer: they can contain their costs; take advantage of the know-how of a leader in the international arena in selecting pigs; get a higher return on their investment in the animals; reduce the number of losses and the risk of disease; and benefit from research into the ideal composition of feed. Fumagalli’s own slaughtering also allows the verification of the quality and yield of meat for a possible intervention in the best diet to ensure growth.
Agistment is therefore a solution that satisfies both parties and protects the heritage of the Italian agri-food sector, known and loved throughout the world.