The Ministry of Education of the Government of Aragon and the National Cluster of Swine Livestock Producers (i + Porc) have signed an agreement by which they undertake to “collaborate in the implementation of a dual professional training specialized in swine production” for to alleviate the “important imbalance between the demand of the companies and the available workers” in the community.
This mismatch, according to the agreement signed by the community and the business organization, “puts at risk the use of the livestock potential of the region (sic) of Aragon” since they foresee that it will affect “the current and future employment situation” in that bouquet.
The implementation of this dual VET, which differs from the traditional one due to the greater weight of the internships that students carry out in companies and which comes after the creation of several professionalism certification degrees, starts from premises that seem to be be losing solidity.
“The real forecasts of implantation of new farms in Aragon guarantee the growth of the sector”, indicates the text of the agreement, which explains that “currently the autonomous community leads the production of pig cattle at the national level, which not only justifies current needs , but it guarantees that the needs of qualified workers will grow exponentially in the future. ”
Finally, the council and employers are “aware” that “the number of graduates in vocational training from the professional agrarian family is notably lower than that demanded by companies in the pig sector” in Aragon.
This statement, on the other hand, is symptomatic of the evolution that the sector is having in Aragon, where the model of family farms is being devoured by the industrial one imposed by integrators and investment funds.
China stops the business in its tracks and forces a reconversion
The pig sector has experienced spectacular growth in recent years, in which it has positioned itself as the main Spanish territory in production with just over a quarter of the places (8.77 million out of 32.67) authorized for fattening pigs, although far behind Catalonia in slaughter (10.32 million out of a state total of 56.46) despite the progress of recent years, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture.
This progression, which has triggered the contribution of the pig sector to the agricultural income, although with the bulk of the added value in the hands of the companies in Italy and Catalonia (and soon Germany) that manage the main slaughterhouses, at the same time that it triggered the negative effects on the environment such as the aquifer contamination, seems to have started to collapse.
However, importers operating in China, the destination of two thirds of the pigs exported from Aragon, stopped renewing supply contracts as of April after recovering a level of production prior to the African swine fever epidemic that shook their sector as of 2014, and that is equivalent to the fate of half of the pork that is raised here has been left up in the air.
Prices are falling in what appears to be the prelude to a reorganization of the sector whose first stages include a race between integrators and local slaughterhouses to take over European markets and rescue some Asian markets, such as South Korea and Singapore, where they are they had been displaced in recent years by their European competitors.
Thus the last Situation Report of the Ministry of Agriculture refers a “dgeneralized decrease in the prices of white-coat pig carcasses (-2.50% on average in their different classifications) due to a considerable decrease in demand from China and an excess of European supply. “” Pig prices Fattening continue to decline in all national squares, “he points out, while noting that” the prices of the base piglets 20 kilos of national origin fall this week by a considerable -11.75% “.
The price of breeding animals fell by almost half in the second quarter of this year due to lack of demand, after several years in which it was necessary to import them as Spanish breeders did not supply supplies. And the fall in meat prices in summer is simply something unknown to the sector so far.
A map of employability in the Aragonese pig
In this scenario, in the midst of a process of change, an agreement between the Department of Education and the Swine Cluster arrives that includes aspects such as that the implementation of this new FP “will not generate, nor will it lead” to the General Council of Aragon (DGA ) “to financial considerations that require, where appropriate, other agreements and formalities, nor will it entail additional economic cost charged to the budget”.
The agreement will be valid for two years, extendable for another four, contemplates a mixed commission to resolve differences in interpretation that may arise and establishes that the use of the logos of the Government of Aragon requires its prior authorization.
The catalog of actions of the agreement includes “promoting and promoting the information and professional guidance of the professions linked to the agri-food and livestock sector” and creating a “dialogue group” between companies and administration for “updating the Aragonese curricula in the titles of professional training in Agrarian and Food Industries “.
The agreement also foresees that the cluster and the DGA launch three specific lines of collaboration: one for “the analysis of the qualifications demanded in the pig production sector to allow a study or map of employability linked to it”, another with the aim of working on “the professional orientation of students enrolled in training cycles in public educational centers in professional Agrarian and Food Industries families” and one more in order to work on “the dissemination and better use of the training module in work centers in companies in the livestock sector and the possibilities of dual vocational training “.