Page 6 - Australian Pork Newspapaper
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Mark McLean is currently the managing director and co-owner of Riverhaven Enterprises and Top Multiplier Pty Ltd – both family agricultural companies operating 2000 sows on two independent 1000 sow pig farms in South Australia.
With new research and innovation, and changing production and processing methods over time, farmers are now producing pork with a high eating quality at more affordable prices than beef and lamb.
An Australian pork producer’s perspective
MARK McLean is cur- rently the managing di- rector and co-owner of Riverhaven Enterprises and Top Multiplier Pty Ltd – both family agri- cultural companies oper- ating 2000 sows on two independent 1000 sow pig farms in South Aus- tralia.
than beef and lamb,” Mr McLean said.
pork-based smallgoods to succeed, we need a long-term commitment to this market from pig farmers and smallgoods manufacturers to develop high quality products and brands that consumers consistently have access to,” Mr McLean said.
“The Australian Pork Pork’ type approach for
Joining Australian Pork Limited in November 2019 as a producer di- rector on the Board, Mr McLean has extensive ex- perience in agribusiness and is actively involved in the industry through roles with Pork SA and as an APL delegate.
pacts in China has driven several opportunities in export markets for Aus- tralian pork.
rebuilding their numbers as pasture becomes avail- able and feed prices re- duce.
“These products need to be simply and clearly branded as Australian to make it easy for con- sumers to choose to buy local.
“When we compete for exports in the com- modity space however, this standard is expected,” he said.
“Having good relation- ships with the different needs of customers is vital moving forward – after all it doesn’t matter what size your pig farm is, it matters if you have a home for every pig produced,” Mr McLean said.
Foodservice and restau- rant trade were severely impacted during the disruptions of 2020 and particularly hard hit was Melbourne, with ongoing Victorian lockdowns.
When it comes to ex- porting, Mr McLean said Australian food has food safety and quality stand- ards that are equal with the best in the world.
With the increase in market share due to high beef and lamb prices, and greater consumer aware- ness around Australian- grown pork products, pro- ducers of smaller 100-200 sow farms can be confi- dent in their future.
“Since COVID-19 hit, we have seen a 30 per- cent increase in the con- sumption of pork at home, which will hopefully con- tinue.”
logo remains a simple way to know the pork you buy is Australian.”
a number of exporters to work collaboratively on.”
When asked for his in- sight into the drivers be- hind increased demand for pork over the past 12 months, Mr McLean said, “Pork is a great value proposition for consumers with beef and lamb re- maining at very high prices.”
“Australian Pork Lim- ited has maintained its commitment to marketing Australian pork with ad- vertising and meal solution options, which has helped consumers consider other cooking options for Pork.”
The consumer prefer- ence for traditional ‘red’ meats appears to be his- torical and is occasionally due to a lack of confidence with cooking pork, which can affect the eating ex- perience.
However, the value proposition of pork for in- home meal solutions has become very evident with many people concerned about their financial situ- ation.
“Australian companies manufacturing ham and bacon could choose to re- ally showcase their locally supplied product range and capture the support for ‘buy local’ that seems to be evident at present.
“To provide a different offering within export markets is difficult from a whole of industry per- spective, but individual companies may choose to diversify using premium- branded products, with at- tributes such as breed or production type.
“There are efficiencies in pig farm size growing over time and there are also challenges.
“The global pork shortage created by Af- rican swine fever im-
Competing with im- ported pork products, Australian pork struggles from a price perspective.
With national beef and lamb animal numbers on farm reducing after several years of drought combined with expensive grain and fodder prices, these industries are now
“With new research and innovation, and changing production and processing methods over time, we are now producing pork with a high eating quality at more affordable prices
To assist with consumer education, the current marketing campaign by APL encourages shoppers to identify and purchase pork products with 100% Australian-grown content.
“Local pork products with more than 90 percent Australian content in the bar chart on the label use Australian pork and sup- port Aussie farmers, local regional communities and jobs within the transport, manufacturing and retail sectors across Australia.
“The export of fresh pork into Singapore for many years using a ‘common specification’ was quite successful initially, and I wonder if something sim- ilar could be achieved in other export markets pro- viding a ‘brand Australian
“For any pork producer to remain in business the fundamental drivers are the same regardless of farm size – productivity per sow, having a margin over costs and producing a quality pig for your end customer.”
“For locally produced
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Page 6 – Australian Pork Newspaper, June 2021
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