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Australian Pork Industry Revving Up for the Future

by 5m Editor
22 September 2009, at 12:00am

The Australian pork industry is going through a substantial change. To overcome obstacles that lie within these changes, Australian Pork Limited (APL), after consultation with stakeholders, has come up with a 2010-2015 Strategic Plan. Rachel Ralte, reporting for ThePigSite, outlines the main objectives of the plan.


According to APL Chairman Enzo Allara, "The pork industry has faced and will continue to face significant challenges. The diversity of the industry in our products, in our production systems, in the size, competence and dedication of our producers are assets that we must leverage to their full value. The industry’s unity around the thrust of this Strategic Plan 2010–2015, in its adoption and implementation, will be a significant step in that direction."

Eight formal open-invitation producer meetings were held, all Australian states covered. These meetings churned out ideas and proposals which have resulted in themes which characterise the basic layout of the Strategic Plan.


The 2010-2015 Strategic Plan has been built around five Core Objectives. These are:

  1. Build consumer demand
  2. Viable productive farms
  3. Efficient value chains
  4. Leadership, preparedness, stewardship, and
  5. Industry cohesion and reponsiveness.

Core Objective 1: Build Consumer Demand

APL's first Core Objective is to bring consumer demand up to a higher level. Increased volume sales and increased pricing are two factors that drive a business's revenue line.

One of the main ways to achieve high demand is assurance of eating quality. This is, in turn, factored by product improvement due to the fact that consumers make purchases based on their perceived value for money.

Another sub-strategy to help achieve high consumer demand is through the increase in frequency of use. According to the report, "This strategy will focus on the products that are currently bought every week and in particular, those where pork currently underperforms."

Improving the image of fresh pork is another means through which this can be attained. This solution was thought after evaluation of consumer perceptions.

For over half a decade, Australian pork has suffered a massive decline in sales of processed pork products because of increased imports and fallen exports. However, to drive up consumer demand, consumers need to understand that all fresh pork is Australian; labelling also plays a pivotal role in this aspect.

Core Objective 2: Viable Product Farms

For sustainability of the pork industry, producers need to be competetive and profitable in the global market. However, due to high feed grain prices, the growth of Australian pork in the international market has been stunted. Pig diseases have also contributed to the lack of growth.

Control and/or reduction of diseases and moratlity is a key objective for the Australian pork industry. Actions taken to manage pig diseases need to undergo further review, and new vaccines need to be developed. The country would also do well to come up with new management techniques.

Diversification of feed grain supply would help a great deal in enhancing the productivity of pork farms.

Core Objective 3: Efficient Value Chains

For the Australian pork industry to see improvements, it is important that focus is laid on consumers. To achieve this, all segments of the pork supply chain are linked to enable flow of market signals.

Encouragement of transparency and integration in the supply chain has been inspired by the “Lean Thinking” experience from the UK. Implementation of a system in which there is better communication between supplier and buyer will ultimately lead to product quality, buyer/ seller relationships and flow of market signals in the industry with the ultimate objective to provide a more efficient supply chain with better links between value and quality.

Optimising the value chain efficiency and quality will enable the pork industry to move "beyond a supply/demand focus to one where supply chain relationships and opportunities between value and volume are better understood."

Core Objective 4: Leadership, Preparedness, Stewardship

Industries are ever-changing, including expectations and food production standards. Australia's community and government look to the pork industry for provision of leadership, preparedness and stewardship.

The Australian pork industry is constantly challenged to be responsive to standards that are expected of it, particularly with regards to animal care and welfare. As a result, the report discusses the need to improve the industry's image.

Managing the impact of regulatory shifts as a result of food safety concerns need to be managed, according to the report.

Core Objective 5: Industry Cohesion & Responsiveness

The main of this Core Objective is to make sure there is proper flow of communication and information. The speed at which the industry communicates has a major impact on its ability to respond effectively to issues of various kinds.

Facilitation and rapid adoption of information and technology from projects is instrumental in the execution of leadership within the industry.

Identification and delivery of information to stakeholders will solidify the value of APL in the Australian pork industry; projects are being designed to guarentee APL's image.

APL's “Health Check”

According to the report, "A good strategy needs built in measurement mechanisms to check on progress." The table below shows the targets and measures to be taken by APL to ensure the Core Objectives. The table demonstrates the value created by the implementation of the objectives.

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Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

September 2009