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One of the characteristics that make this sector a highly complex one is the enormous difficulties of controlling and maintaining stocks at appropriate levels:

Every single day, most producer must be able to attend their customers for fresh meat (pigs slaughtered only a couple of days before), chorizo, salchichon and other types of sausages (pigs slaughtered from 1 to 3 months ago), loins (5 months ago), shoulders (18 months ago) and hams (24 months ago).

The above would be for cebo pigs. If we talk about bellota pigs, we add one more difficulty, which is that the slaughtering of bellota pigs occurs only between January and March (the meat is not available through the year, unless frozen). The curing time for hams can go to up to four years or more.

Which means that, in reality, most producers must go to the “primary” market, one occurring among producers, to cover the needs that they cannot attend with their own stock. It is very rare to find producers that only deal with their own products. Those would be smaller ones, more traditional ones, with an stable market.

The key points, on this regards, are: to ensure that producers buy products that are similar to the ones they make, to have good quality controls in place, and to have the financial means to purchase stock form other producers and to endure, on those occasions, a reduced level of margin on their sales.

On this respect, the year 2015 is going to be a tough one for many producers.



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