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WPC REPORT - Pork Industry Facing up to Challenges

by 5m Editor
3 September 2009, at 9:24pm

CHINA - The pig meat sector is facing three major challenges, writes ThePigSite senior editor, Chris Harris at the World Pork Conference in Qingdao.

The President of the International Meat Secretariat, Paddy Moore, opening the conference said that the industry was confronting problems associated with the economic down turn, the consequences of the A/H1N1 flu outbreak and questions over sustainability and the environment.

Mr Moore said that the global economic crisis has had a severe impact on the structure of the industry, production, trade, prices and consumption.

He added that there were concerns in the industry that the A/H1N1 flu virus was affecting consumption patterns globally.

"At the OIE General Session in Paris in May this year, I underlined to delegates our concern at the unfounded allegations linking A/H1N1 influenza to the consumption of pork," he told the conference.

"Indeed, I expressed to them our gratitude to the OIE as well as the World Health Organisation and FAO, for their joint statements affirming that pork products were not a source of infection and that influenza viruses were not known to be transmissible through eating pork or other food products derived from pigs."

Mr Moore added that the third challenge for the pig meat sector was the question of achieving sustainable production and reducing the impacts of production on the environment.

He said that the industry needs to develop effective strategies to meet the challenges of the environmental impact of extensive livestock production on the environment, water supply and the use of fuel particularly in the light of the forthcoming international climate talks in Copenhagen.

However, Mr Moore added that despite the challenges, facing the industry worldwide meat consumption and international trade are increasing.

He said that global meat consumption is forecast to grow by two per cent per year up to 2018 to more than 320 million tonnes, with 37.5 per cent of the growth coming from the pig meat sector.

In the Asia Pacific area, pig meat consumption is forecast to grow at a faster rate than any other meat," he said.

"The theme of the conference - Modernisation of the World Pork Industry - Science, Health, Stability and Sustainability - not only implies being aware of the challenges and opportunities presented to our industry, but addressing them both nationally and internationally through the IMS," he concluded.

The conference, which is organised by the International Meat Secretariat, China Meat Association and the Qingdao Municipal Giovernment has attracted around 500 delegates and speakers from organisations and companies around the world. It runs from 3-4 September.