Show organisers welcomed Japanese guests
This year, The Royal County of Berkshire Show welcomed some very special guests from Japan who came to meet with Berkshire pig breeders.
Coordinated by the British Pig Association, one key part of their visit was to introduce the Japanese to British Berkshire breeders with the plan that they will import British semen to Japan next year.
Three main groups were represented on the mission; pig breeders, the animal feed industry and the meat processing industry. The breeders were represented by Directors from two large farming groups in the Kagoshima area in the south of Japan – Mirai Farming Group and Kihoku Farm Group. Together they have more than 1800 purebred Berkshire sows, and to put this into context, this is more than four times the total number of Berkshire sows in the entire UK! The Berkshire Pigs achieve a very high premium as they are bred for tenderness and high eating quality.
Two senior managers from Marubeni Nissin feeds were also on the mission. Marubeni is in the top 50 animal feed companies in the World, producing more than 2.8 million tonnes annually. Again, to put this into context, this is significantly more than is produced by the UK’s largest feed manufacturer!
Finally, there was representation from Itoham, a very large meat processor that concentrates on speciality meat products, including ham of a very high specification (and price). They take all the production from Mirai and Kihoku which are fed on Marubeni rations.
Marcus Bates, Chief Executive, British Pig Association commented: “As soon as the visit to the UK was announced we urged the Japanese delegation from Kagoshima to attend the show at Newbury because of the relationship with the Berkshire Pig Breeders Club and the Show and the hosting of the Club’s Champion of Champions competition. This provided an ideal opportunity for the Japanese delegation to meet a large number of British Berkshire breeders in one place and see the range of diversity and quality which they have maintained in the British Berkshire breed. The Show Society were excellent hosts and did a marvellous job of looking after them and the breeders put on a great display of pigs. The Japanese delegation were thrilled to be seeing the pigs in the Royal County of Berkshire Show and rounded off their visit with a trip to Windsor Castle where King George V kept his herd of Berkshire Pigs when he was Patron of the Berkshire Breed Society in the 1920’s.”
Overall, the Show proved to be a great day out for all the family, offering a wide variety of shows and events as well as an increased number of have-a-go activities for everyone to enjoy. There were new additions such as the Wedding Showcase and the Enterprise Initiative, but also some of the old favourites enjoyed a remake, such as the Flower Tent which saw a new home and the introduction of domestic classes, and the hugely popular Food Fayre moved location but still proved just as busy and bursting with delectable treats.
SAVE THE DATE!
The dates for 2019 Royal County of Berkshire Show will be Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September.