Australian Pork Limited: Imports threat to local industry

 

Roger Hanson, The Weekly Times (Australia)

February 8, 2018

 

A NEW report has found that Tasmania’s pork industry contributes about $10 million to the annual gross domestic product, but cheap imports are hurting the industry, a local producer says.

 

The report from independent consultancy group ACIL Allen was released by Australian Pork Limited.

 

Second-generation farmer Stuart Quinn from Valleyfield, a mixed farming operation on 150ha near Sorell, grew up having pigs and said he had a passion for raising them.

 

“Imports are a major issue. About 75 per cent of pork in Australia is imported, which makes it hard for local farmers to make a living,” Mr Quinn said.

 

“If we didn’t have such high import levels, then we would have a flourishing industry because we have great climate and high farming standards.

 

“Imports affect pig farmers because of the trickle down effect of putting downward pressure on prices. Also, most imported pork is not farmed to the same standards as in Australia.

 

“Consumers need to support the local industry and they can do this by buying pork from their butcher, who has sourced the product from local pig producers.”

 

Valleyfield’s pigs are bred free-range. The property is home to 50 breeding sows and about 200 pigs, ranging from weaners to finishing.

 

A weaner is a piglet recently weaned from its mother at about six weeks. It is then generally transferred from the farrowing shed to the weaner or grower area. The sows weigh about 250kg liveweight and give birth to an average litter of eight to 10 piglets. Valleyfield’s pigs are large White Landrace-cross-Hampshires, finished between 16-18 weeks, with a porker having a dressed weight of 55-60kg.

 

The pork industry report said that in 2015-2016, the industry contributed more than $5.2 billion to Australia’s GDP.

 

Australian Pork Limited chief executive officer Andrew Spencer said...

 

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