National Poultry Newspaper
P. 1

Phone: 07 4697 3344 • Fax 07 4697 3532
Vol 24. No. 5 May 2020 Australian Pork Newspaper PO Box 387 Cleveland 4163 Phone (07) 3286 1833 Fax (07) 3821 2637 Email
The rise and fall of the virus impact
Point of View
RECENT weeks have tested the strength and agility of Australia’s pork producers and our markets in un- precedented ways.
America, where pro- ducers are grappling to manage the turn-off of large volumes of prime pigs because major US processors have closed due to COVID-19 in- fections.
For our industry, the significant social and economic disruption caused by COVID-19 will have long-lasting impacts, of which many will be difficult to predict.
I’m pleased to say our producers in Australia have stayed focused on supplying consistent volumes of high-quali- ty locally grown pork, which has continued to add so much economic value to our national economy at this crucial time.
For now, our supply chains are adapting to the loss of foodservice sales, which normally absorb about a quarter of all Australian pork, particularly popular restaurant cuts like ribs and bellies.
Christmas 2019. Driving the increase
partnership between the pork industry and a number of restaurants – which has served up more than 1000 free meals to hospitality staff unemployed due to foodservice closures.
An additional chal- lenge has been navi- gating freight difficul- ties for exports, which usually accounts for 10 percent of our produc- tion.
An initial spike in sales as consum- ers raided retail shelf space for meat to freeze has normalised, and a key focus of Australian Pork Limited’s market- ing response has been providing accessible information to assist consumers who have been preparing pork meals at home.
While all our retail and foodservice out- lets are important, I am particularly proud of the role we’ve played in supporting butchers through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though this will de- pend on how quickly impacted supply chain businesses are able to resume normal trading operations and over- come the legacy of the extended shut-down period.
Australian Pork Lim- ited, exporters, govern- ment and importing countries have worked together to ensure flights have been se- cured for chilled con- signments to Singapore and new markets such as Hong Kong and Vi- etnam, helping to meet strong import demand and offsetting local surplus in Australia.
Nonetheless and somewhat inevitably domestic wholesale in- ventories have mount- ed in recent weeks and overall carcass values have fallen.
These predominantly small family owned in- dependent businesses have remained open for trade and not surpris- ingly have increased their market share in recent weeks.
Government support for businesses in the form of payroll tax re- lief and JobKeeper re- bates will prove crucial to helping this recov- ery.
However, indications are that imports have levelled off.
This is undermining producer confidence and creating uncertain- ty for individuals and families whose liveli- hoods depend on a profitable pig industry.
From the outset in- dustry ensured Aus- tralian butchers were deemed essential ser- vices, in contrast to New Zealand where butchers were forced to close.
Reports that several foodservice businesses are reinstating staff and have chosen to use the time for training, main- tenance and renovation conveys genuine opti- mism about the future.
The two-paced im- pact of COVID-19 has seen fresh pork retail sales grow by 26.8 percent in volume and 35.7 percent in value compared to 12 months ago.
APL will continue to support all supply chain stakeholders to find innovative ways to market and promote Australian pork during this volatile period.
This not only reduced competition and con- sumer choice, it played havoc with pork pro- duction systems and supply chains geared specifically to service the butcher trade.
Producers and related businesses in need of assistance with infor- mation related to COV- ID-19 can contact APL directly or visit agri virus/industry
Indeed, overall gro- cery sales in March surged and were 18 percent higher than
With this in mind, I want to thank eve- ryone participating in the Hospo4Hospo ini- tiative – an ongoing
Though even the seri- ous disruptions in NZ seem relatively minor compared to the prob- lems faced in North
has been demand for cook-at-home meals like pork roast, pork mince, ribs and rashers.
A versatile and af- fordable meat, Austral- ian pork is favourably placed to emerge in the post-COVID-19 world in a stronger position, both in domestic and export marketplaces.
Rachael Bryant Lechelle van Breda
Business improvement opportunities from APL
AS mentioned in April’s article, the research team has continued to focus on finding ways to re- duce production costs, keep our farms safe and improve our licence to operate.
In a time where it’s dif- ficult to get any news not related to COVID-19, we thought we’d put together an update on a few things the Research and Innova- tion team has been work- ing to deliver. Accelerating herd health improvement – Lechelle van Breda
tified desire to improve the timeliness of autogenous vaccine permitting.
In turn, this is expected to lead to quicker access to autogenous vaccines, which will aid Austral- ian pig farmers in raising healthy pigs.
Increasing revenue through abattoir feed- back – Vaibhav Gole
Research and Innovation
General Manager
Autogenous vaccines are vaccines made from bac- teria taken from sick or deceased pigs at a specific farm.
Autogenous vaccines require registration and a permit from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority be- fore they can be used.
It has been estimated the accumulated cost and loss due to full or partial condemnation of pig car- casses denies the industry of $10.33 million annually.
Most of you probably use them to protect against farm-specific strains of APP, E. coli and strepto- coccus suis among other things, and in addition to keeping our pigs healthy, they will also be essential in the long term in reduc- ing reliance on antimicro- bials on-farm.
It can take over 12 months for approval.
Australian Pork Limited was successful in getting a grant from the Depart- ment of Agriculture, Water and the Environment in re- sponse to an industry-iden-
APL consulted with pro- ducers, autogenous vac- cine manufacturers and APVMA to contribute to significant improvements, streamlining the approval process.
* continued P5
As such, there are prob- ably financial and welfare costs associated with pre- ventable diseases because of slow vaccine approvals.
Veterinarians suggest up to $5.7 million of this could be prevented through the introduction of real-time feedback from processors to producers.
This is an unnecessary burden on an industry already challenged with maintaining farm profit- ability.
An APL project is cur- rently under way run- ning pilot trials using a standardised list of animal carcass, viscera and offal health conditions in con-
Stockyard industries are here to help pork
producers remain fully operational and safe during the COVID-19 outbreak by
• Providing primary technical assistance remotely
• Keeping our warehouses in Clifton, QLD and Bendigo
VIC open for business
Stockyard Industries 54 King Street,
Clifton QLD 4361
07 4697 3344

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