A very positive picture was painted for the Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork at its 2016 annual general meeting and stakeholders’ meeting last week in Melbourne.
Pork CRC completed its fifth year of an eight year agreement with the Federal Government and participants on June 30, 2016.
Chairman Dennis Mutton (pictured) and CEO Roger Campbell agreed that 2015/16 had been a year of considerable achievement, with significant outcomes across Pork CRC’s four programs and positive plans and projects in place as it transitions towards 2019/20 and the start-up of Australasian Pork Research Institute Ltd (APRIL)
Mr Mutton said Pork CRC’s four program areas, which centred on sow and piglet management, herd health, growing consumption of pork and delivering through a carbon conscious industry, had continued to generate innovative solutions that delivered sustainability and profitability to Australia’s pork industry from producer to public.
“The calibre of Pork CRC’s program research partners continues to be outstanding and, in particular, I acknowledge the support of our participants, a number of whom have continued to show their commitment to the cause of quality R&D by signing up as foundation members of APRIL,” Mr Mutton said.
Dr Campbell said in the past year, participants and researchers had made further progress in understanding and enhancing sow and piglet welfare.
“With almost 80 per cent of Australian producers now having transitioned to group housing of gestating sows, sow confinement has been reduced by about 80 per cent.
“We should all be proud of this achievement, which has contributed to the term High Integrity Australian Pork becoming a marketable reality and differentiation of our product continuing to be reflected in improved demand and price.
“While margins in 2015/16 were above the previous year and higher than for most other global pork industries, Pork CRC will continue to further differentiate Australian pork and ensure the industry remains profitable and sustainable.
“Pork CRC research has improved the eating quality of Australian pork, demonstrated how effluent can be successfully converted into useable biogas, shown how grains and other ingredients can be more efficiently used through processing and NIRS technologies and given industry tools to better understand and control common diseases.
“I am particularly pleased to report that our R&D program has more than been matched by our education and training program, which has markedly increased the capacity and capability of the industry and will certainly help secure its future,” Dr Campbell said.