Ambassador: Bart Mouton and Filip Van Laere, Belgium

Publication date: June 2019 | Theme: Meat quality

Bart Mouton and Filip Van Laere achieve a higher profit from Duroc d'Olives meat, produced from a cross-breed pig fed a diet that includes olive oil. The breeding combines a white landrace sow and a Duroc boar and the meat has a reputation for being flavoursome, juicy and tender.

Bart and Filip chose olive oil as a source of fat in the pigs’ feed following a study on feed composition, working with specialists from the University of Ghent.

Olive oil contains few saturated fats and many beneficial mono-unsaturated fatty acids. By providing olive oil in pig feed, a similar fatty acid composition is achieved in the pork fat. This is good for the health of the consumer.  The basis of the feed is a mix of pure grains (wheat, barley and maize), fibres and proteins. 

Results

Benefits:

  • Profit increase from 0.12 to 0.17 per kilo of slaughter weight

Costs:

  • Feed price increase of 16.8% if fed for the last two months only
  • Total production cost increase of 7.6% if fed for the last two months only

Assumptions made to generate the cost/benefit analysis were:

  • Olive oil is added at 2.5% of the total feed
  • Olive oil is €3000/tonne
  • Olive oil does not change the technical performance of the finishing pig
  • A 10% market price increase will result from labelled meat fed olive oil

Innovation in practice

According to the farmers, there are two possible options to implement the practice:

   1. Add olive oil to the feed of finisher pigs for the entire finishing period

   2. Add olive oil at a percentage of 2-3% in the last two months of finishing only

Both methods produce a very similar fatty acid composition, however, the costs of feed and production become untenably high if olive oil is fed for the entire finishing period and, for that reason, it has not been investigated further.

The practice of adding olive oil to the pig feed requires no specific training. It is important for the producer to know what kind of olive oil and at what quantity it should be used to obtain the desired effect and avoid any issue related to ‘soft fat’

More about this best practice

To access more information, contact RPIG (Belgium): Laurens Vandelannoote

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