Pork Newspaper - February 2018
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Phone: 07 4697 3344 • Fax 07 4697 3532
Vol 22. No. 2 February 2018 Australian Pork Newspaper PO Box 387 Cleveland 4163 Phone (07) 3286 1833 Fax (07) 3821 2637 Email ben@porknews.com.au
South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell, SunPork managing director and CEO Prof Robert van Barneveld, State Development Minister Cameron Dick and SunPork chairman Enzo Allara. Photo: South Burnett Online
SunPork and Swickers rebuilding, expanding and looking to the future
November last year and show a continued increase in pig numbers year on year of between 3 and 4 percent and continued pork volume growth of between 5 and 6 percent.
Unofficial statistics gained through the export processors show a similar trend continuing up until the end of January – last month as you are read- ing this.
The question on a lot of people’s lips is to what extent will we be getting extra pigs over last year during the growth spurt that traditionally happens as hotter temperatures cool and pigs start to eat more freely.
These animals are likely to flow through in April and May.
Our latest Production Survey, which many of you contribute to and will have already seen, shows num- bers peaking in April 2018 at around 5.33 million pigs on a moving annual total basis.
This is about 60,000 pigs – another 1 percent or so – more than where this figure sits as of the end of November 2017.
There’s not long to go now before we’ll have an idea as to how accurate this number turns out to be.
Stockyard Industries 54 King Street,
Clifton QLD 4361
07 4697 3344
FOLLOWING an ex- ceptional effort, the SunPork Group has been able to reopen its boning, chilling and export distribution fa- cilities at the Swickers Kingaroy Bacon Fac- tory within 352 days of a fire that destroyed
these assets in Novem- ber 2016.
To coincide with the restoration of damaged facilities, SunPork also announced expansion of its business with the con- struction of a new $60 million abattoir on the site with more than dou-
ble the current process- ing capacity.
The new abattoir will be complete in early 2019.
A special event was held on site at Swick- ers on Wednesday, Janu- ary 24, 2018 to mark the opening of the restored facilities and the com-
mencement of construc- tion of the new abattoir.
Member for Maranoa and the Federal Minis- ter for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud opened the renewed boning room, chillers and export distri- bution centre while Min- ister for State Develop- ment, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick performed a sod-turning ceremony to mark the start of construction of the new abattoir.
Group CEO and man- aging director of the SunPork Group Dr Rob- ert van Barneveld said the fire in 2016 rein- forced just how impor- tant Swickers is to the South Burnett region and the local community.
“Ensuring Swickers has been restored to full op- erational status in such a short time has meant all jobs and customers have been maintained, despite
☛ continued P19
Working hard behind the scenes were Bree Hofman, Kingaroy; Belinda Calvert, Nanango; Tash Barnett, Black, Kingaroy. Photo: South Burnett Online
Brisbane; Amy Langley, Brisbane; and Michelle
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Pigs, processors and politicians
IN late January I was lucky enough to be invit- ed to the official open- ing of the new Swickers export boning room in Kingaroy, Queensland, after fire destroyed the previous facility in No- vember 2016.
It was a very impres- sively run event, with an appropriate amount of ceremony celebrating what has been an amaz- ing effort in getting the facility back to more or less full operations in less than 14 months.
Also appropriate was the attendance of the new Federal Minister for Agriculture and Wa- ter Resources, who also happens to be the local member for Maranoa, David Littleproud, who officially opened the new facilities.
In addition, Queensland Minister for State Devel- opment, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Plan- ning Cameron Dick was in attendance to perform a sod-turning ceremony for the new abattoir to commence in the next month as well as the Member for Nanango and Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington.
An impressive array of politicians supporting this event demonstrates the importance and signifi- cance of this investment into the pork industry and regional Australia.
Our recently published Economic Impact Report shows the pork industry and its flow-on economic effects really do make a difference for regional Australia.
Admittedly, the report was based on the 2015/16 year when our farm gate prices were much higher than they are now but the
Point of View
contribution of $5.2 bil- lion to our gross domestic product by our industry is nevertheless notewor- thy, as is the more than 36,000 jobs the industry supports.
Despite the difficulties we are presently having with pig prices ex-farm gate, it’s great to see a level of confidence in the wider pork business that can underpin an invest- ment of this scale into its future.
The new abattoir at the Swickers facility will increase its potential throughput, contribut- ing to a higher level of security around industry processing capacity that will have broader impacts across the industry.
While no one’s fault, there is a broad opinion that the Swickers fire in 2016 contributed to pig price erosion due to is- sues around boning and kill capacity.
These capacity issues ‘dominoed’ into pigs be- ing held back on farm, continuing to grow, be- coming outside specifica- tions in some cases and putting more pork onto the market than was an- ticipated.
The latest official statis- tics in hand for pig pro- duction levels are from

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