Ding Lei founder of internet company Netease.com is into pigs.  This was initiated by the recent concerns with the Chinese food supply.  Mr Lei’s company is importing 10,000 hogs and plans to start raising pigs on a organic diet.  There was, however, no mention as to if this will be a confinement system, nor any mention as to the possible use of antibiotics.

According to he Wall Street Journal, “The pigs will be raised to strict standards, including a bit of toilet training. Each pig will be expected to expel 2.2 kilograms, or almost five pounds, of excrement per day, and only in certain areas for maximum cleanliness.”

Now I have to wonder just how sustainably he will be able to raise 10,000 hogs.  I could be wrong but to me it sounds like he is replacing the feed with organic grain inputs.  Will he then be able to sell his meat back to the USA as organic?  I doubt just feeding them organic grain would hold up to US certification standards, yet I don’t know if there is a loophole for other countries importing.

I will say that the idea of training the pigs to use one area for elimination is not far fetched as pigs do that naturally.  My pigs definitely don’t muck where they sleep.

Mr Lei is, however, doing something cool for Chinese agriculture.  He has a goal of promoting swine farmers on the internet using facebook.  I’ve yet to see the site but I’m sure it will be interesting.

In general, however,  I do have to say that I cringe when I read about new large scale farms.  I think China and the USA could be better off if they promoted smaller local farms and local distribution chains.  Small scale sustainable farming reduces the need for antibiotics, its more humane, it supports local economies, and in my opinion the meat tastes better.