EU PiG Grand Prix

The Grand Prix is an annual EU-wide contest, with around 300 producers competing to become one of eight EU PiG Ambassadors, by telling us their innovative ideas and best practices, developed in response to industry wide challenges, showing the rest of Europe the best of what they have to offer, and flying the flag for their country.     

The winning producer Ambassadors are invited to showcase their best practices in a range of ways, including talking to producers out and about in the industry.  The Regional Pig Innovation Groups (RPIGs) will also help the Ambassadors to produce virtual farm tours, photos, and reports, to be shared on this website.

The Grand Prix identifies the top examples of best practice for each of the nominated challenges, with two new topics chosen every year for each of the project’s four key themes, and for 2018, they are:

Health management:

  • Therapeutic zinc oxide to weaners is due to be out phased within the next 5 years, so alternative best practices to zinc and increasing antibiotic treatments are sought, to prevent post weaning diarrhoea, including optimising management strategies.

  • Vaccines are a cost-effective alternative to treatments in many situations, and are able to generally improve health status and production efficiency, but what is the optimal vaccination strategy for the most common pathogens in pigs?

Meat quality:

  • To obtain higher margins through creation of homogenous groups of pigs ready for market, through reducing stress, optimising preparation time, and easing the identification of pigs when they are ready for market.

  • Identifying contribution of technology, husbandry techniques, and genetic improvement to make pork more tasty, succulent, and flavoursome.

Animal welfare:

  • Management strategies on important factors for loose housing in the farrowing pen where both the welfare of lactating sow, and piglets, have been taken into account, especially piglet mortality.

  • Innovative examples of enrichment materials that meet the characteristics as recommended by the European Commission, but at the same time have a proven application at farm level in European pig production.

Precision Production:

  • Using precision production to reduce the emissions from pig farming and slurry storage (reducing odour and emissions, and enhancing fertiliser value).

  • Applying precision production to increase gilt and sow performance, (farrowing rate, litter size, piglet survival, weaning to oestrus interval, etc.).

Grand Prix entry and judging

Producers just need to complete a short Entry Form with details of their best practice, and send it to their RPIG who will enter them in the Grand Prix.  All applicants are required to agree to the terms outlined in the EU PiG Grand Prix Privacy Policy regarding the processing of personal data. Each RPIG is also required to complete an RPIG consent form agreeing to the use of data in accordance with the applicable data protection laws.

A panel of experts for each of the project themes then run a rigorous evaluation process, looking at technical and economic factors, to narrow it down to the top five best practices, for each of the eight challenges.

The eight winners are then selected by RPIGs, project partners, and stakeholders, and awarded the title of EU PiG Ambassador.

Tell us your challenges

Producers are asked to suggest what they think future challenges should be through the Grand Prix application process, please get in touch with your Regional Pig Innovation Group (RPIG) leader to find out more.