EU animal welfare means pricier gelatine: Rousselot

By Natalie Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

A shortage of the cattle used in raw materials for gelatine production means higher prices
A shortage of the cattle used in raw materials for gelatine production means higher prices

Related tags: Raw materials, Material, European union

Rousselot says EU animal welfare regulations are to blame for its hiked gelatine prices.

The excipient manufacturer will increase the price of the product – often used in pharma capsule production – by five per cent next quarter because of shortages of the pig skin and beef bones used to make it.

And according to the French firm a large reason for the lack of raw materials is the European Union’s changes to pig farming laws​, which will come into play in January 2013.

Rousselot believes the changes – which mean farmers will have to spend more on housing for their livestock – have already started to affect costs, and that some porcine farmers are already being priced out of the market.

A spokesperson for the firm told “A main driver is raw material availability and costs. Pig skin prices are being impacted by new EU Sow Housing Regulations, which would affect the number of pig farmers.

"This has an impact on porcine raw materials availability and prices.”

The producer also said that cow bone prices are increasing thanks to the inflated cost of food, particularly after poor harvests in Europe and America this year as a result of freak weather conditions.

Another factor in lifted prices is competition from industries other than the gelatine production market, which are also suffering from heavier fees.

The firm told us: “The global price increase in raw materials affects all users worldwide.”

The future of gelatine

The latest news is not the first of rising prices for Rousselot, with a similar rise across all gelatine brands in the last quarter​. The firm also told us there will be another price surge next year.

However despite a worldwide lack of raw materials​, the company is confident there will be no effect on its ability to meet demands.

“Although prices go up it should be clearly noted that we do not foresee issues on supply and expect to maintain availability of gelatine and the usual high levels of customer's service by Rousselot,”​ the spokesperson said.

When asked if it believes the ever-increasing charges will lead industry to seek out alternative products, the spokesperson added: Gelatine is a unique product whose properties are very beneficial in pharmaceutical applications.  There is no direct alternative that provides the same benefits and value.”

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