Australian Pork Newspaper
P. 1

Phone: 07 4697 3344 • Fax 07 4697 3532
Vol 22. No. 5 May 2018 Australian Pork Newspaper PO Box 387 Cleveland 4163 Phone (07) 3286 1833 Fax (07) 3821 2637 Email
Brisbane chefs celebrate pork and creativity
Entering the next threshold of pain
THE latest numbers avail- able from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (to the end of February 2018) sug- gest pig numbers are grow- ing year on year by 4.5 percent and pork produced in the same period is grow- ing at just on 6 percent.
These growth numbers are getting bigger, not smaller, as our industry would have preferred due to the glut of pigs in the market.
We know prices for pigs are a result of the dynamic between supply and demand, and our market and con- sumer data is indicating the demand side outcomes are very positive and have been for the past five years or so.
Six percent supply growth, however, is a bridge too far to expect demand to exceed, which means price pressures remain strongly downwards.
We are now approaching 18 months of these price pressures on our industry.
When they were first vis- ible early last year, there was a lot of surprise from all cor- ners and some consequent anger at how the industry financials had turned down- wards so quickly.
In reality though, due to some years of positive trad- ing conditions, many pig producers had much health- ier balance sheets than they might have five or six years earlier, and they were thus in many cases willing to ride out the downturn and be ready for improving industry conditions when they would again come about.
So since this time, as ex- plained through the numbers mentioned above, supply growth has continued and has even become greater.
I believe that in the past few weeks, we have begun to pass through another thresh- old of pain for the industry.
Not only have pig prices re-commenced their down- ward trajectory over the past couple of months, but the very act of finding a buyer for some at the smaller end
Point of View
of the industry – and without the valuable contract-based business models – is becom- ing extremely desperate.
I’ve taken a number of phone calls from produc- ers over the past couple of weeks who just don’t know where to turn.
I’ve heard of many similar- ly placed producers through the state pig farming organi- sations who are in touch reg- ularly with their members.
The problem is not only low pig prices but the heart- ache and burden of actually finding a buyer for pigs at any price.
It is not a pretty picture and too many pig produc- ers are understandably fi- nancially and mentally dis- tressed.
There is no silver bullet to the industry’s problems at present – there are too many pigs in the market and the only way prices will turn around is when supply comes back to align more reasonably with demand.
We are starting to hear of more producers making the difficult decision to stop mating, which didn’t seem to be happening a lot this time last year.
Nevertheless, a pig farm that stops mating today will still be delivering pigs for slaughter in 10 months.
There is no comfort in knowing we are seeing mar- ket forces in action – market forces are a cruel beast.
In these difficult financial
times for pig farmers, it is important that we can stand together and look out for each other.
We can’t solve everyone’s problems but we can be a shoulder to lean on, a sym- pathetic ear and a helping hand.
North and south, east and west, everyone is now suf- fering more or less equally from the impacts of the in- dustry downturn.
I’d like to encourage all the pig farmers reading this to pick up the phone and have a bit of a chat to some of your colleagues out there who might be doing it tough.
And if you are doing it tough, you’re welcome to give us a call at Australian Pork Limited and we can help put you in touch with experts who might be able to help, such as rural finan- cial counsellors and mental health services if you think you might need them.
The pathway to success is never smooth and the fun- damentals for our industry remain strong, with the pop- ularity of our product ever increasing.
But this is cold comfort for those at the front line of the industry’s present pain.
I’m sure this will be the major subject of the coffee breaks for this month’s Pan Pacific Pork Expo.
I look forward to catching up with those of you who can make it.
CREATIVITY was on dis- play and central to celebra- tions when PorkStar hosted its dinner at the Bromley Room in the new West Village Bris- bane recently.
A quartet of inspired Bris-
bane chefs delivered a collabo- rative menu for the event, which attracted more than 100 of their peers to the historic Peters Ice Cream factory.
Richard Ousby, Ben O’Donoghue, Cameron Mat-
thews and Ben Williamson unit- ed to serve up a pork feast in the gallery space, displaying art by acclaimed Australian artist Da- vid Bromley and others.
PorkStar’s Mitch Edwards said it was an edgy space that perfectly fit the event.
“We’ve always been about en- couraging chefs to play with pork, get creative and showcase the protein in all its glory,” he said.
“This venue provided an extra-special backdrop for the creative menu from Richard, Cameron and the two Bens.
“Our chef guests enjoyed dishes that showed how versa- tile Australian pork is, but also how inspired and innovative our chefs are, while also ap- preciating some of Australia’s best art.”
Guests enjoyed a range of
Chefs Cameron Matthews, Richard Ousby, Ben Williamson and Ben O’Donoghue prepared a creative pork feast for the PorkStar event at the Bromley Room in Brisbane’s new West Village development.
☛ continued P3 APRIL advises pork research approvals
A FIRST call by Australasian Pork Research Institute Lim- ited for research to enhance the competitiveness and sus- tainability of the Australasian pork industry has resulted in 14 proposals being funded to a value of almost one million dollars.
All successful proposals in- cluded a 20 to 25 percent cash contribution from applicants, giving a total cash budget for the first round of about $1.2 million.
At its April 23 meeting, the APRIL Board also approved $100,000 for education in 2018/19, which will support an Industry Placement Program, similar to that successfully ini- tiated in Pork CRC, as well as top up postgraduate scholar- ships and honours projects.
The first APRIL honours project has been approved at the University of Melbourne.
According to APRIL Interim CEO Roger Campbell, most R&D proposals were recom- mended with modification and all applicants have now been advised.
“The research portfolio contains very innovative proposals and pro- vides APRIL with an exciting and positive start, with the first results expected within 12 to 18 months,” Dr Campbell said.
The objective was to mini- mise any disruption to R&D and training activity in 2018- 19, following completion of Pork CRC’s investment in R&D in 2017-2018.
Among the successful APRIL proposals were very innovative projects on reducing antimi- crobial resistance and better understanding the gut micro- biome in animal health and performance, as well as a cou- ple on novel diagnostics and remote monitoring pig health.
“There were also some poten- tial system-changing projects on improving reproduction and two on better understand- ing the capabilities of modern Australian genotypes and ma- nipulating carcass fatness and improving feed efficiency,” Dr Campbell said.
However, he noted APRIL was disappointed at the lack of proposals covering reducing feed costs, enhancing feed ef- ficiency and manipulating car- cass fatness.
The APRIL Board and man- agement would therefore at- tempt to address these in the shorter term via a call for in- novation proposals and in the longer term through discus- sions with relevant researchers and research groups.
Dr Campbell thanked all who
submitted proposals and said their contributions would help sharpen researcher focus on APRIL priorities and industry needs and likely lead to more directed proposals in future in- vestment rounds.
“I also thank members of the APRIL R&D Committee and the 75 or so reviewers involved in the process,” he said.
“The time frame was tight but all went very smoothly.”
APRIL’s inaugural Educa- tion Committee comprises: Prof Frank Dunshea (Chair), University of Melbourne; Prof John Pluske, Murdoch University; Dr Eugeni Roura, University of Queensland; Dr Darryl D’Souza, SunPork; Dr Rob Smits, Rivalea; Ms Heather Channon, Australian Pork Limited; and Dr Charles Rikard-Bell, Pork CRC.
APRIL, which replaces the Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Austral- ian Pork (Pork CRC), is fully member based with a budget in 2018-2019 approaching $3 million.
APRIL is actively seeking new science and creative new ideas.
APRIL’s three programs cov- er resilience, cost and return on assets.
The Stockyard Team are looking forward to catching up with all our customers
at PPPE from May 30 to 31.
Stockyard Industries 54 King Street, Clifton QLD 4361
07 4697 3344

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