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EnviroCheck – enhancing pig producers profits

by 5m Editor
1 June 2007, at 8:34am

AUSTRALIA - Pig producers across Australia are being invited to undergo an Australian Pork Limited’s (APL) EnviroCheck and be eligible for an APL Environmental Stewardship award.

EnviroCheck is a confidential process and consists of a voluntary on-farm assessment of environmental management practices against the National Environmental Guidelines for Piggeries. The purpose of EnviroCheck is to help make pig producers aware of their overall environmental performance and key risk areas. The EnviroCheck score is a key criteria in selecting the state and national winners of Environmental Stewardship Awards.

The 2006 South Australian APL Environmental Stewardship award winner, Robert and Mark McLean, of Riverhaven Enterprises believe EnviroCheck helped them identify, prioritise and act on areas where improvements could be made.

“When our piggery started using deep litter sheds we needed to develop an effective way of managing the spent deep litter bedding,” Mark said.

The initial method of managing deep litter bedding at Riverhaven produced pungent odours (detected within the local community), the material was hard to handle and it provided an optimum breeding environment for rats, flies and pathogens. It was decided, because there were neighbours who were not involved in pig farming, that a proactive approach needed to be taken. By utilising EnviroCheck, this also meant an independent third party was putting our compost management under scrutiny.

The composting operation now established produces a good product that is easy to handle and is being sold to vineyards, citrus orchards and organic vegetable growers. Riverhaven also uses the compost on their own citrus and olive orchards.

“The composting process has minimised the generation and dispersion of odours, has created a more aesthetic looking pig farm and I have received funding from the SA Pig Industry Advisory Group to monitor, assess and report on the operation and management of the composting system,” Mark said.

APL is offering producers a $400 rebate on any EnviroCheck returned to APL, and completed by an approved assessor. EnviroCheck is the first step towards implementing and APL accredited Environmental Management System (EMS).

5m Editor