Defining Volume

Newsletter No. 75 - Item 2

What do we understand by “volume” in today’s markets?   When discussing volume with two managers of a pig unit we calculated the annual tonnage of pig meat they produced on their 200 hectare farm.  The farm was a closed production unit, so included boars, breeding sows and rearing all production to slaughter.  The farm had their own feed mill, with the slaughter pigs shipped to the owner company’s slaughter plant.  They bought in all their feed ingredients.  Their total annual meat tonnage from their pigs shipped from that farm related to the total annual volume of ostrich meat from all South African production.

To quantify this in numbers of slaughter Ostrich, in 2004, South Africa slaughtered 208,000 ostrich.  At 25kgs meat per bird, average South African meat yield, this relates to 5,200 tonnes of meat per annum.  Reared under improved production systems, ostrich have the ability to produce in excess of 40kgs of meat per bird.  That improvement relates to annual tonnage of 8,320 tonnes from the same number of slaughter birds, an increase of more than 3,000 tonnes – 60%.

You will note that Farmer 3 here mentioned working for a multi-national large poultry operation.  Once we explained the volume issue, with his background the writer understood the challenges.

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