Green Report Offers Insight into Competitiveness12 November 2012
SWEDEN - A new report entitled "Green" is offering the agricultural community a comprehensive picture of its performance. Drawing comparisons with other nations,"Green" claims that Swedish farming is in a good state of health.
Farmers have been enjoying good returns and business growth, and low costs on veterinary and medicine. Swedish production systems, the report claims, are efficient with feed inputs,but are burdened with the high costs of labour, machinery and buildings.
Also featured is the mantra of producing as effectively to become a profitbale nation in a global market place.
The report also provides an overview of Swedish food in an international perspective. "The report helps farmers to assess their own competitiveness and find ways to develop entrepreneurship," hopes Lennart Nilsson,Head of the foods business unit at the Swedish Farmer's Federation.
"The intention is to annually update the Green competitiveness to get an idea how Sweden and competitor countries' productivity evolves over time."
The report states that Europe's share of world production of agri-products has decreased where several nations have increased their share. The report acknowledges farming conditions in Sweden are quite similar to those in neighboring countries such as Denmark, Finland, Germany and the UK meaning Sweden has evolved in a manner similar to the rest of Europe.
"The report shows,despite Sweden's attributes in livestock, such as good health status of pig production and high yield in dairy cows, we are performing worse thatn out neighbours," says Harold Smith, chief economist at the Agriculture Department.
Good levels of animal health, high yields and high feed efficiency are the strengths of Swedish dairying. Availability and price of land is also a strength for the Swedish dairy companies in an international comparison.
The disadvantages of Swedish agriculture include the costs of labour, machinery and buildings is generally relatively high. The international comparison shows that there are major differences in the individual company costs for these factors of production within a country than between countries.
Good health is a characteristic of Beef farming also. The high proportion of roughage allows to minimize imports of protein feed and contribute to environmentally sustainable production.
The current high cost situation makes it difficult, however, opportunities to achieve economic sustainability in today's general price levels.
The pig industry is characterized by a relatively high production efficiency. Pigs are kept in good health and this means low veterinary and medicine costs. The environmental impact is low with a good supply of available land.
Swedish pig production has higher construction and labour costs than many other countries, which may be partly linked to welfare standards in the country.
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