For example, The Grocer recently highlighted a decline in UK pig production of more than a third, as farmers could not make money because of low prices. Yet producers elsewhere in Europe, receiving prices that are 10%-20% below the UK, have managed to survive and take an increased share of our market. UK farmers must comply with stricter welfare regulations, while swine fever, foot and mouth disease and now the wasting diseases have all hurt British pig farmers very badly. But there are other factors. The Danish pig industry continues to prosper because its costs are lower and its marketing more effective. That is because the Danes enjoy the benefits of co-operation, uniting to reduce their input costs and organise the marketing of their products. Traditionally the Danes have been more willing to invest in better growing and processing facilities than their British competitors. Crucially, the farmers own the primary processing plants, whereas in the UK the abattoirs remain in the hands of independent owners, plagued with overcapacity and under-investment. The problem of poor productivity and inadequate innovation also exists in food manufacturing. A German company, Müller, runs the only yogurt plant in Britain which compares with the best in Europe. There is no plant in Britain which can compete with the massive pizza plant Northern Foods has built in Ireland. The strong currency is blamed for most of the food chain's current problems, but there are other significant problems which are in the power of the industry to address. But it seems reluctant to do so. {{NEWS }}