Pig production is a techno-scientific internationalized business that is continuously exposed to change and risk. Changes in the Agri-Business are inter alia caused by changes in globalization, information technology, biotechnology and changes in consumer trends. The consumer, within the framework of the pig supply chain, is fundamental to this study. Hence an in depth review of meat market surveys for the period 1970 – 2000 was undertaken. The central theme of the study is: "How to reconcile meat quality, genetics and the consumer with bio-economic pig production in the South African pig supply chain?" A detailed analysis of the South African pig supply chain was subsequently conducted in order to add value further down the supply chain. The inherent structure of the South African pig industry was researched with the emphasis on production statistics, the pig feed industry, genetic improvement and pig information systems, slaughter houses and also slaughtering statistics. The different industry institutions, industry organisations and computer programmes in support of the South African pork supply chain were also investigated. Genetics is the hidden golden thread running through any livestock supply chain. If a substantial portion of consumer satisfaction and quality assurance can be resolved (guaranteed) at the genetic level (thus conception), these guarantees will be conducive to quality assurance further down the supply chain. Carcass and meat quality have become increasingly important in modern day pig production, despite the fact that the emphasis has been too long on input efficiency and too short on output efficiency in South Africa. This called unambiguously for the accurate estimation of genetic parameters of production and carcass traits through appropriate methodology and the right genetic technology. A high degree of accuracy will further optimize the estimation of breeding values, that of breeding objectives and also enhance the credibility of a national breeding scheme. Genetic parameters for five carcass traits were successfully estimated for the first time in the history of South African pig breeding. In future, breeding values for carcass traits, can now be determined more accurately for the Large White, Landrace and Duroc pig breeds. Extension of the present carcass evaluation analysis (Phase E of the National Pig Performance Testing Scheme) to incorporate the essential meat quality traits such as pHu, marbling, tenderness and colour into future breeding goals should eventually satisfy the consumer. In order to finally progress from an immature to a mature pig supply chain, pig producers must align themselves with value partners on both the input (raw materials) and output (end product and value added products) end of the supply chain. To embrace the concept of quality (a consumer demand principle) all levels in the production chain (at the genetic level through the breeding objectives, at the farm level through the entire production system, in transit and at the slaughterhouse and processing levels) should be integrated.
Thesis (DPhil (Agricultural Economics))--University of Pretoria, 2006.