For more than 100 years, the production of pigs has been an important asset for Denmark - both in terms of employment and export.
Approximately 85 per cent of Danish pig meat is exported and pig meat is thereby essential to the balance of trade and economy in Denmark. The Danish pig industry is among the leading pig industries in the world in areas such as breeding, quality, food safety and traceability, and this is a significant reason behind why Denmark is the world's largest exporter of pork. The foundation of this success is very much found in the co-operative movement that ensures complete control of each and every step in the entire production chain.
The trend in Danish pig production is still moving towards fewer pig farms. In 2008, Denmark had 5,514 pig farms against 16,880 in 1998. In 2008, 62 per cent of all Danish sows were found on farms with more than 500 sows/year vs 15 per cent in 1998. Of 4,937 farms with finishers, 1,329 accounted for 62 per cent of the overall production of finishers.
If the trends continue, an average sow farm will consist of 1,000 sows and an average finisher producer will produce 11,000 pigs annually in 2020.