Page 12 - Australian Pork Newspaper
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Sustainability not only saving the environment
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SUSTAINABILITY is gaining more mo- mentum in the public eye, with more Austral- ians questioning where their food comes from, how it is produced and even how it is presented and packaged.
– meeting the needs of people, pigs, planet and prosperity, which form the four P’s in APL’s draft industry sustain- ability framework.
which will position pork as Australian’s preferred protein.
nance to support the ven- ture.
The pork industry has already done leading work in the sustainability space, and Australian Pork Limited is proud to champion these stories.
As the technology con- tinues to develop, it will continue to fall in price.
Gemma Wyburn is APL’s program leader of climate-friendly farming and its overall sustain- ability framework.
APL is working on sharing leading practices and progress through its Australian pork sustaina- bility framework, as well as identifying new goals
As part of its environ- mentally sustainable goals, APL is continuing its research investment to create new opportuni- ties in methane capture, organic carbon for soil amelioration, wastewater recycling, waste reduc- tion and waste reuse.
For those still wary of the initial outlay or technical requirements for biogas, solar has also proven to be a great fit for piggeries, with the peak loads for produc- tion matching well with the peak availability of sunlight.
Making sustainable choices in production is not only about saving the environment but rather addressing the full scope of sustainability
A good example of this is biogas.
Between biogas – which supplies energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and renewables such as solar, pig production can truly become off-grid.
Being an intensive in- dustry, we are fortunate that we are already well ahead of others such as the cattle and sheep in- dustries in terms of en- vironmental impacts, as we occupy much smaller amounts of land and can take advantage of the pig’s highly efficient di- gestive system requiring less feed to produce high- quality meat.
This vision, as outlined in APL’s five-year stra- tegic plan, sets in mo- tion production growth, market expansion and adoption of sustainable practices to add $1 billion to the farm gate value.
The technology is changing to suit different needs, with more options for tank-based systems becoming available.
Currently, about 16 per- cent of industry utilise this technology to capture methane from effluent ponds to either burn off in a flare or to generate electricity and heat.
In March, Utilitas Group – a Queensland- based bioenergy com- pany – announced its plans to build 100 bio- hubs across regional Aus- tralia using waste from all sorts of industries that can be co-digested to create electricity, gas or transport fuel.
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Both methods are cur- rently eligible for gener- ating Australian carbon credit units, which can be sold to generate a new income stream.
These systems have been shown to reduce power bills to $0 and have relatively quick paybacks, particularly for those with over 1000 sows.
Projects such as this offer smaller enterprises, including piggeries, the opportunity to col- laborate with their local community to manage their waste in a way that reduces emissions, sup- ports local industry and celebrates the contribu- tions of the industry to a sustainable future.
Importantly, you don’t have to be a large pro- ducer to consider its ben- efit.
APL published a recent case study on the adop- tion of biogas for a 535- sow producer, and it’s well worth a read.
It’s always horses for courses, but it is cer- tainly worth a look and discussing with APL for technical advice.
The payback time was estimated to be 6.3 years, and that is without ac- cessing income from carbon credits, seeking grants or additional fi-
For further information, contact Gemma Wyburn at gemma.wyburn@
Page 12 – Australian Pork Newspaper, April 2021
Biogas supplies energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is a viable perfect option for pig production to go off-grid.
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