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PJJulyAugust2013:PJJanFeb09 27/08/13 11:27 AM Page 1

Pork Journal

July/August 2013 Volume 35, Number 4

Novus Nutrition – building on a history of innvoation

PEDV outbreak in the US should mean stronger biosecurity guards

Frank Dunshea receives Nonruminant Animal Nutrition Award

APL holds on-line ‘Butchers Battle Plan’ Webinar A retrospective of the Australian pig industry. Part One PrintPost Approved PP243096/00002 ISSN 1032 3759


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Contents 6 MAIN FEATURE Novus Nutrition – building on a history of innovation Dan Meagher, President of Global Animal Nutrition Solutions at Novus International Inc was recently in Australia to meet with the Australian Novus team. Peter Bedwell spoke to him and Nick Nettle, Sales Director for Novus in Australia and New Zealand about the company’s future directions. Mr Meagher was enthusiastic about the Australian market and how it had responded to the existing Novus range. Dan Meagher, Novus International Inc

Pork Journal July/August 2013 Volume 35, Number 4 Editorial Enquiries Peter Bedwell or Rosemary Embery 02 4322 0799 or 0419 235 288 Staff: Editor/Ad Sales: Peter Bedwell Ph: (02) 4322 0799 Mob: 0419 235 288 Production: Rosemary Embery Email: rembery@iinet.net.au Mob: 0409 944 472 Journalist: Alex Bedwell Mob: 0478 647 798 Website: www.primarymedia.com.au PORK JOURNAL consists of a bi-monthly management magazine and an annual industry review. Published by C D Supplies Pty Ltd (ACN 091 560 557)

OFFICE ADDRESS: 22 George St, East Gosford NSW 2250 Ph: 02 4322 0799 Mob: 0419235288 SUBSCRIPTIONS: AUSTRALIA One year – $66.00*. Send payment and full details to: Pork Journal, GPO Box 1846, Sydney NSW 2001 Phone (02) 9492 7386 Fax: (02) 9492 7310 NEW ZEALAND One year – $NZ80. OTHER COUNTRIES Asia Pacific including the Subcontinent – One year: Airmail – $A90; Rest of the World – One year: Airmail – $A90. Please send payment in Australian dollars. *Australia subscription rate includes GST.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Send details to: GPO Box 1846, Sydney NSW 2001, Fax: (02) 9492 7310 (Subscriptions only). ALL MATERIAL COPYRIGHT (editorial and advertisements) and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publishers. Whilst every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the contents of PORK JOURNAL, the publishers do not accept any responsibility or liability for the material herein.

10 HEALTH FEATURE PEDV outbreak in the US should mean stronger biosecurity guards Darryl D’Souza from APL looks at how developments surrounding the PED virus continues to cause consternation in the United States with producers and regulators at a loss to explain and control the outbreak. He says PEDV is just one example of the unknown biosecrity risk confronting our pork industry and more widely other livestock industries in Australia.

18 SPECIAL FEATURE A retrospective of the Australian pig industry. Part One Jim Berting looks back at his more than 50 years involvment in the Australian pig industry. He arrived in Australia in 1966 and saw the local industry from a newcomer’s perspective. From previous experience with the UK and European pig industries over some years, he had seen how, around the world, pig producers and their pigs adapt to local circumstances of climate, food sources and consumer demand.

NEWS 4 Frank Dunshea receives Nonruminant Animal Nutrition Award Frank Dunshea, PhD, an expert on swine nutrition, was recently recognised for his professional achievements by the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) and the American Feed Industry Association. 14 Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus continues to spread across the United States Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) continues to spread across the US throughout 16 states. Herd loss may affect pork production as countless pigs – most suckling and early-weaned pigs – die from the gastrointestinal disease. 16 APL holds live on-line ‘Butcher’s Battle Plan’ Webinar On August 13 from 7pm to 7.45pm Australian Pork Limited (APL) held a live on-line seminar – the Butcher’s Battle Plan Webinar. The national event covered vital issues including an APL overview, an independent retail channel performance update covering percentage share of trading when compared to supermarkets and consumer research and results to assist with keeping up with the modern day customer. 17 UK retailers edging towards next food scandal National Pig Association (UK) is worried that the foundations for the next food scandal are already being laid by some retailers as they edge away from the shorter supply chains they promised following Horsegate.

PRODUCT NEWS 12 NaturClean bedding conditioner out absorbs leading competitors

PORK JOURNAL, July/August 2013       3


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NEWS Frank Dunshea receives Nonruminant Animal Nutrition Award FrankDunshea,PhD,anexpertonswine nutrition,wasrecentlyrecognisedforhis professionalachievementsbytheAmerican SocietyofAnimalScience(ASAS)andthe AmericanFeedIndustryAssociation. DrDunshea,ananimalscientistand professor,servesasChairofAgriculturefor theUniversityofMelbourne,Australia. DrDunshea’sresearchinswinenutrition andmetabolismhasgreatlyimpactedthe industry,withmanyofhisfindingshaving beentakenupbytheswineindustry. Hehasmadeimportantcontributions oneffectsofmetabolismmodifierson nutrientrequirements,andhasledthe commercialisationofanimmunocastration vaccineandconductedresearchonthe impactofimmunocastrationonnutrient requirements. Healsoinvestigatednutritionalmeansof manipulatinggrowthandporkqualityto reducedefects. DrDunsheahaschairedtheUniversity ofMelbourne’sagriculturedepartmentforsix years.HealsotrainedatLaTrobeUniversity, Melboure,Australia,andCornellUniversity, NewYork,beforeworkingasagovernment scientist(VICDPI)for17years.

Dr Frank Dunshea (right) receives his award from Chad Risley.

New appointments at APL APLhasannouncedthatRobynTerryhas beenappointedastheR&IManager, ProductionInnovation. MsTerryisaCRCPhDscholar(inher finalfewmonths)inAnimalSciencesatthe UniversityofAdelaide,withintheSchool ofAnimalandVeterinarySciences. Herareaofexpertiseispigreproduction.Robynwillbeworkingfrom Roseworthyuntilshemakesthemoveto CanberraaroundtheendofAugust. FollowingEmalynLoudon’sdeparture toreturnbackwesttotakeupaposition asTechnicalServicesManagerwith WestporkPtyLtd,APLannounced ImogeneGardinerastheR&IManager, TechnologyAdoption. MsGardinercurrentlyworksfor PacificOceanEnterprises. ShehasrecentlycompletedherMaster’s DegreeinPoliticsandPublicPolicyand BachelorofArts(International Communications),MacquarieUniversity. AstartdateforMsGardinerisstilltobe confirmed.

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New appointment at APL, Robyn Terry

DrDunsheahaspublishedmorethan 500journals,conferencebooksandtechnical articles. Hisnotableachievementsincludebeing awardedtheDanielMcAlpineOutstanding AchievementAwardforInnovationin AgriculturalResearchforhisbiomedicaland functionalfoodsresearchandbeingnamed the2007recipientoftheAustralianMinister ofAgriculture’sprizeforhisroleinreducing, replacingandrefiningtheuseofanimalsin research. HeisalsoaFellowoftheNutrition SocietyofAustralia.TheNonruminant AnimalNutritionAwardwaspresentedto DrDunsheabyChadRisley,duringthe annualASASmeetinginIndianapolis, Indiana.MrRisleypresentedtheawardon behalfofAFIA.

To advertise in Pork Journal Magazine contact Peter Bedwell on 0419 235 288 or (02) 4322 0799. For rates go to www.primarymedia.com.au


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Dan Meagher meets the Novus Australian team (LtoR) Jasmin Floyed, Nick Nettle, Dan Meagher, Kalyan Eda, Gunjan Vora and Heyley Deng.

Novus Nutrition – building on a history of innovation

By PETER BEDWELL “

N

ovusNutritionisagreatorganisationtobeapartof,”statedNickNettle, SalesDirectorforNovusinAustraliaand NewZealand.

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PORK JOURNAL, July/August 2013

“Despitethehighlycompetitivenature ofanimalnutritionproductsalesin Australia,wehavegrownandcontinueto bringnewtechnologysolutionstoour customersandareconfidentthatwecando evenbetterinthefuture,”headded. Nickhashadlongexperiencesupplying theAustralianandNewZealandfeed industries.HestartedhiscareerwithCliff Thurley’sAgribusinessGroupbasedin SouthAustraliainthedayswhenfeedwasa lotlessexpensive,andthemarkethadnot beenfloodedbyimports.Alsotherewerea lotmorefamersthantherearetoday. WhenProvimitookoverAgribusiness in2001,Nickwentalongandworkedwith thatgroupuntilProvimileftAustraliaand NickjoinedNovus. “Havingthesupportofaglobal enterpriselikeNovushasbeenakeyfactor inoursuccess.Thecompanydeveloped

someoftheworld’sbestnutritionproducts forgrowingintensivelivestockwhenthey wereadivisionofUSgiantMonsanto. “WhentheyweresoldtoMitsuiand NipponSodatheinvestmentinbothR&D andmarketingdevelopmentcontinuedwith theresultthatevenincompetitivemarkets suchasAustraliatheNovusname,reputationandfocusonbringingsustainable technologytoourclients,opensdoorsto farmersandfeedsupplierswhoarealmost alwaysinterestedinwhatwehavetosay,” Nicksaid. “Ourabilitytodevelopproduct solutionsandruntrialsinboththebestand toughestmarketsforanimalnutrition, deliversbenefitsforallregionsincluding AustraliaandNewZealand. “Howeverhavingthebestproductsin theworldcountsforlittleifyoucan’t w deliveroptimumservice.Overthelast


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v coupleofyearswehavebuiltupateam whoworkcloselywithourclientsandreally taketheirinterestsandproblemstoheart. Wenowhaveacloseknitgroupof individualswiththevariedskillsetneeded tomeaningfullycontributetothesustainabilityofthefarmsandbusinesseswhorely onourproducts,”Nickexplained. “Improvinggrowerefficiencyisonly oneaspectofwhatwehavetooffer. Consumerexpectationsnowinclude environmentalissues,animalwelfare,and, vitalforbothretailersandconsumers, eatingquality. “Novusnowandintothefutureis awareofnewdemandsandisworkingto addressthemwithproductsolutionsand appropriateadvice. “Pressurescreatedbyanimalwelfare concerns,theneedtocontinuetoimprove bothmeatqualityandshelflifewhile achievingcostreductionsarechallenges Novusfacesinworkingwithproducersto findsustainablesolutionstotheirlivestock operations,”hesaid. OnAugust17,Pork Journal metUS basedDanMeagher,PresidentofGlobal AnimalNutritionSolutionsatNovus InternationalInc.whowasvisiting Australiantodiscussfutureplanswith membersoftheSydney-basedNovusteam. MrMeagherisresponsibleforthe company’sLivestockSalesandDistribution BusinessUnit,whichincludesanimal researchanddevelopment,globalsales, technology,marketinglogisticsandlocal manufacturingfunctions. PreviouslyhewasVicePresident,The AmericasforNovusandledthecompany’s diversificationeffortstoservemultiplemarketsegmentsintheagricultureindustry. HejoinedNovusin2007asWorld AreaDirector,NorthAmerica.

MrMeagherhasheldprominentroles withintheagribusinesscommunityfor morethan25years. OriginallyfromStLouis,heholdstwo bachelordegreesinfinanceandaccounting andservesonanumberofboards. Hewasenthusiasticaboutthe Australianmarketandhowitrespondedto theexistingNovusrangeaswellas prospectsforthefutureasnewproducts becomeavailable. “Thechallengesarealwaystoachieve morewithlessandbeabletorespondto commercialrealitiesoflivestockproduction whilstaddressingconsumerconcernsover welfareandenvironmentalissues,”Mr Meaghersaid. “Mintrexchelatedtraceminerals,for example,assistinimprovingsowhealthand achievingtheirgeneticpotentialthrough betterutilization.Thisalsoreducesthe potentialofmineralsnotabsorbedbythe animaltogenerateenvironmental problems”. “Weoperateinmorethan100countries andwhatwelearnaboutgettingthebest performancefrombasicfeedstocksinone regionoftenhassignificanceforother markets. IntherapidlyexpandingAfrican market,cassavaisacriticalresourceand whatwehavelearntaboutusingthiscrop inlivestockfeedcouldapplytoother markets,nowandintothefuture,”hesaid. “OurjointventurewithVerenium,a SanDiegobasedleadingedgebiotechnology company,focusedonthedevelopmentof highperformanceenzymes,wasannounced inJune2011withtheaimofcommercialisingasuiteofnewproductsthatwillresult inbenefitsforourcustomersglobally.It meansthatthenewenzymetechnologywill onlycomefromNovus.

Dan Meagher, President of Global Animal Nutrition Solutions at Novus International Inc on a recent visit to Sydney to meet the Australian team.

“Dataiskingwhenitcomestounderstandingdigestiblenutrients.Thescaleof ouroperationsandlongterminvestmentin R&DenablesNovustosupplyouroperationsaroundtheworld,includingAustralia andNewZealand,withtheinformation theyneedtoassistgrowersineachofour markets,”MrMeagherconcluded.

NEWS UK: Sainsbury’s to use only British fresh pork AllfreshporkinSainsbury’sstoreswillbe Britishfromnowon,thesupermarkethas said.Theretailerwillbesourcing70% morepigsfromBritaintoguaranteeallits freshporkcomesfromBritishfarms. ZoeDaviesfromtheNationalPig Associationwelcomedtheannouncement butcalledonSainsbury’stoextendits commitmenttobacon,andotherlarge volumelines. “TheNationalPigAssociationisof coursepleasedbythisimportantmove, whichstrengthensSainsbury’scommitment tobuyingBritishandshorteningsupply

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chainswhilegivingtheirporksuppliers muchneededconfidencetoinvestintheir businessesandsecurefuturesupply,”said MsDavies. “Nowalltheirfreshpork,hamand sausagesareBritish,welookforwardto workingwithSainsbury’stofocusonlarge volumelinessuchasbacon.” TheNFUalsoencouragedSainsbury’s toextendthe100%Britishcommitmentto otherlines. “Thislateststeptosource100% Britishporkacrossitsfreshlinescomesata criticaltime,”saidNFUHeadofFood

ChainDeborahCawood. “Themovetostrengthenpartnerships withUKpigfarmersisalsoastepinthe rightdirectioninsecuringlongertermsustainabilityofUKproducedfood. “WehopethatSainsbury’sdevelopmentinthepoultrysectortorollouttheir UKcommitmenttoprocessedfoods includingreadymeals,piesandother productsismatchedacrossfoodranges.” Sainsbury’sconfirmeditscommitment toBritishsourcingaspartofitspromiseto doubletheamountofBritishfooditsells by2020.


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HEALTH FEATURE

PEDV outbreak in the US should mean stronger biosecurity guards By DARRYL D’SOUZA, PhD, GM Research & Innovation

I

napreviousarticle,Iprovideda summaryof‘issues’aroundglobaldevelopmentsinrelationtoPorcineReproductive andRespiratorySyndrome(PRRS), PorcineEpidemicDiarrheaVirus(PEDV) andAfricanSwineFever(ASF). Sincethatarticle,developmentaround PEDcontinuestocauseconsternationin theUnitedStates(US),withproducersand regulatorsatalosstoexplainandcontrol theoutbreaks. Asreportedrecently,PEDiscausedby acoronavirus.PEDvirus(PEDv)isa TransmissibleGastro-Enteritis(TGE)like virusaffectingmostagegroupsofpigsin susceptibleherds. Whilethevirusdoesnottendtokill olderpigs,mortalityamongveryyoung pigsinfectedcanvaryconsiderably,with 100%mortalitiesobservedinsomeherds. Whenthediseaseisendemic,then diarrhoeaisobservedwithlowermorbidity inpredominantlysucklingandrecently weanedpigs. TheUnitedStatesDepartmentof Agriculture(USDA)firstconfirmedthe PEDvirus(PEDV)onMay13,2013with fourconfirmedcasesinsowherds(threein Iowa,oneinIndiana). Basedonfindingsreportedon AmericanAssociationofSwine Veterinarians(AASV)website(July29, 2013),PEDhasnowbeenconfirmedin14 statesacrosstheUS(Colorado,Iowa, Illinois,Indiana,Kansas,Michigan, Minnesota,Missouri,NorthCarolina,New York,Ohio,Oklahoma,Pennsylvaniaand SouthDakota). PEDwasfirstdiagnosedinGreat Britainin1971,withsporadicoutbreaksin Europebutnothingmajor. PEDhasbecomeanendemicpig diseaseinAsiasince1982.Forthemost partPEDinEuropeisseenasaminor imposttopigproduction,whileinChina PEDisstillregardedasamajorpigdisease.

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PORK JOURNAL, July/August 2013

Fromapublichealthviewpoint,PEDonly infectspigs.Therearenootherknown hostsforthisvirus. Interestingly,PEDisnotaWorld OrganizationforAnimalHealth(OIE) reportablediseaseandtheUSNational PorkProducersCouncil(NPPC),as expected,hasbeenveryvocalinstating thatPEDshouldnotaffectitsexport markets. However,followingthefirstfewoutbreaks,Mexicoannouncedrestrictionson importsofliveswinefromtheUS.The Canadianswineindustryisalsoonhigh alertandhascalledfordiligenceofall swineindustrystakeholders. Thehuntiswellandtrulyontofind theoriginsofthisPEDoutbreakintheUS andandAmericanAssociationofSwine Veterinarians(AASV),incollaboration withPorkBoard,NPPCandUSDA,have developedasurveytoexaminetheepidemiologyoftherecentintroductionofPEDV. Theobjectiveofthesurveyisto determinehowthevirusenteredtheUS swineherd. WhileIamthefirsttoadmitthatI havelittleknowledgeofhowtheOIEclassifiesdiseasesasexotic/reportable,itwould appearthatPEDisexotictotheUS.In factthefirstfewsentencesfromtheAASV websitestatesthat“ThePorcineepidemic diarrheavirus(PEDV)didn’tjustspontaneouslyevolveinMidwestswineherds.It wasintroducedintotheUSfromsomewhere.So,wherediditcomefrom?” SohowdidPEDgetintotheUS?As usual,theinternetisfullofsuggestionsand Ihastentoaddnoneofwhichhavebeen substantiated. Iwillnottrytodocumentthevarious theoriesbecausequitefranklymosthaveno substantiativebasisandIwouldrathernot havelawyersknockonmydoor.Iamsure itisjustamatteroftimebeforetheUS authoritiesfindthesourceandtake

Darryl D’Souza from APL

measurestorectifythePEDissuebutin manywaysthehorsehasalreadybolted. Inhindsight,it’seasyfortheNPPCto makestatementslikethosereportedinan articleintheMeatNewDailywebsite(10 April2013)statingthat“NPPCisurging UStradenegotiatorstoaskNewZealand andAustralia,whichalsoimposesunscientificrestrictionsonUSporkbecauseof PorcineReproductiveandRespiratory Syndrome(PRRS),toremoveallPRRSrelatedrestrictionsandallowfullandopen accessforUSporkandporkproductsasa partoftheTrans-PacificPartnership negotiations”. IamnotstatingthatthePEDvirus canenterAustralia,viaimportedpork products,howeverPEDisjustoneexample oftheunknownbiosecurityrisk confrontingourporkindustryandmore widelyotherlivestockindustriesin Australia.ThisoutbreakofPEDintheUS strengthenstheabsoluteneedtomaintain, andsomewouldargueheighten,our biosecurityguardevenwithourcurrent sanitaryandphytosanitarystandards. AquicknoteonASFandthatappears tobemakingnewsinEasternEuropeand hasWesternEuropeonhighalert.The FrenchDirectorateGeneralofFood (DGAL)isthelatesttocomeoutandstate that“thecurrentsituationiscritical”referringtothenumberofcontinuedASFoutbreaksinEasternEurope.


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PRODUCT NEWS NaturClean bedding conditioner out absorbs leading competitors NaturCleanUltra-absorbentbeddingconditionerismanufactured fromnaturalingredientsincludingdehydratedcrystalisedseaweed andessentialoils. “NaturCleanisvastlysuperiorinabsorbencytomanycompeting productsandcanabsorbupto5mlsofliquidforevery10gramsof NaturClean,”saidMichaelPritchardfromLienerts,Australian distributorfortheproduct. “IntestsNaturCleanoutabsorbsallthecompetitorsleadingto longerdrying,lessproductusedandlessfrequentapplications.This meansloweringthecostinuseofNaturCleantoevenbelowthatof itsleastcostofcompetitors,”hesaid. “NaturCleanhasfurtherbenefitsinthatitreducesthelevelsof ammoniaintheanimalhousingmakingitabetterenvironmentfor bothanimalsandpersonnelhavingtoworkinthesameenvironment. “Itcanevenbemixedwithslurrytoreducethelevelsof ammoniaquickly.Intrialsammonialevelswerereduced95%intwo hours. “Unlikemineralbasedproductsbeddingproducts,NaturClean willnotblockuppipesanddrainsasitissolubleinmanureand assistsinbreakingmanuredown. “NaturCleanreadilyabsorbsmoisture.Newbornanimalsare wetfromneonatalfluidsandtheycangetcoldveryquickly,anda layerofNaturCleanabsorbsthosefluidskeepingyounganimalsdry andwarmandcanpreventnavelsbecominginfectedbypreventing contactwithpenfloors,feacesanddirtinbedding. “Aftermicrobiologicaltrialscarriedouttomeetthespecific requirementsoftheAPVMAhereinAustralia,NaturCleancannow alsoclaimtoreducebacterialevelswhereeveritisusedthereby reducingpathogenchallengesforanimalsandparticularlyyoung animalsmakingNaturCleananessentialmanagementtooltoget younganimalsofftoahealthystart. “Safeforusewithanimalspresentandsafeforthestaffand environment,NaturCleanistheidealmanagementaidforbusy operations,”MrPritchardsaid. “Withanapplicationrateof50gramspersqmetertwoorthree timesperweek,thebenefitswillbeseenintheresultsalmoststraight away,”Heconcluded. FionaYoungandTomBraunwhoownMyoraFarmhavesaid thatNaturCleanisanexcellentmanagementaid.Itisavailablefrom allqualityruralstores.TheAPVMAApprovalNumberis65704/ 51633.FormoreinformationcontactLienerton1800629231for yourneareststockist.

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PORK JOURNAL, July/August 2013

al ric Ag

* ize Al

s F n Plu lea o an s C r m lo tu Am Sta Na

ed ab e S

Above: Test results showing that Naturclean can absorb up to 5 mls of liquid for every 10 grams of NaturClean. *formerly Mistal. Below left: NaturClean helps keep new born piglets dry and free from infection. Below: The bedding conditioner is made from natural ingredients including dehydrated cystalised seaweed.


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NEWS Charoen Pokphand Foods buys major stake in RBPI ThaicompanyCharoenPokphandFoodsPlc(CPF)willpay€ 76.8 millionfora83%stakeinRussiaBalticPorkInvestASA(RBPI),a large-scalegrainandporkproducerintheEuropeanpartofRussia, accordingtoRBPI. Underthedeal,CPFInvestmentLimited(CPFI),asubsidiaryof CPF,willpurchasethesharesfromCapmanRussianFundLPinthe thirdquarterofthisyear. “ThedealispartofCPF’sfoodexpansionplansintoRussia, whereitalreadyoperatesafeedmillandintegratedswinebusinesses,” saidPresidentandCEOAdirekSripratak. “Theinvestmentaimstoserveahugedemandformeatinthe country,at2.75milliontonnesayear,whilelocalproductioncapacity remainslow,leadingtoimportsofsome750,000tonnesofpork everyyear.” AdireksaidthemanagementteamofRBPIiscompetentandhe isconfidentthecooperationwouldhelpincreasesupplytomeetthe risingdemand. ThecompanyprojectsthatitsnewcapacitiesinRussiawillhelp ittoimproveoperationalperformance.CPFprojectssalesthisyearto increaseby10-15%.Operationsin12countriesincludingRussiaare expectedtocontribute55%torevenuein2013thankstoaggressive investmentexpansioninrecentyears.

Jess Naylor joins Auspac PhilipLambethhas announcedthatJess Naylorhasjoinedthe AuspacIngredientsteam. Jessgraduatedfrom theUniversityofNew Englandin2008witha BachelorofRural Science(Hons).On completionofherdegree, Jessbeganworkingfor JBSSwiftasagraduate basedatBeefCity Feedlot,Toowoomba. Throughthisprogramshegainedexposure tomanyaspectsoffeedlotoperationsincludingfeedmilling,animalhusbandry,animal healthandnutrition. ShealsogainedvaluableexperienceworkingacrossseveralSwift feedlots,abattoirsandattheBrisbaneheadoffice. JesshasspentthepastthreeyearsworkingforSuncorpBankin bothAgribusinessandTreasurydepartments,servicingclientsfrom RegionalNSWandQLD. JessjoinstheAusPacIngredientsteamasRegionalSales Manager–NorthernRegion.Shecanbecontactedon0439195 993oremail:jess@auspacingredients.com.au

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NEWS Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus continues to spread across the United States Porcineepidemicdiarrheavirus(PEDV) continuestospreadacrosstheUSthroughout16states.Herdlossmayaffectpork productionascountlesspigs– mostsucklingandearly-weanedpigs– diefromthe gastrointestinaldisease. Sincetheidentificationoftheviruswas confirmedintheUnitedStatesMay17, morethan400caseshavebeenreported. AreportpreparedbytheUS DepartmentofAgricultureAnimaland PlantHealthInspectionService(USDAAPHIS),NationalVeterinaryService

LaboratoriesandtheNationalAnimal HealthLaboratoriesNetworkindicatesa jumpinpositivetestsbetweentheweekof May13– with10casescontainedtoIowa, MinnesotaandColorado– to44casesthe weekofMay20. Thevirusseemedtospreadsignificantly inIowa,increasingfromfourcasesto25. ThevirusalsospreadtoMissouriand Oklahoma. Casesinsucklingandnurserypigs becameprevalenttheweekofJune16with ahighmortalityrateof30%to100%in

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PORK JOURNAL, July/August 2013

early-weanedpigsinnaï veherds. “Nurserypigs,grow/finishpigsand adultanimalsexperienceahighrateof morbiditybutlowmortalitywiththe virus,”saysHarrySnelson,Directorof CommunicationsfortheAmerican AssociationofSwineVeterinarians. “Therefore,anypotentialimpactonpork supplywillbeanumberofmonthsdown theroad.” TheIowaPorkIndustryCentersaid PEDVisacoronavirusrelatedtotransmissiblegastroenteritisvirus(TGEV). Theprimaryclinicalsigninoutbreaks thatoccurinpreviouslynaï veherdsis severediarrheainpigsofallages.Clinical signsareessentiallyidenticaltothose expectedwithacuteTGEVinfection. ThePorkIndustryCentersaysafterthe initialepidemic,PEDVusuallybecomes endemic.Itisspreadviathefecal-oralroute withashortincubationperiodof12to24 hours.Thevirusisshedfor7to10days. “Oncethevirusispresentinanaï ve herditspreadsveryeasilyandyouprobably wantittospreadquicklysoalltheanimals getexposedandbegindeveloping immunity,”Snelsonsays. Officialsbelieveherdclosurefollowed by100%feedbackexposurewillbea successfulherdeliminationprotocol. Thevirusiseasilyspreadbytrucks, bootsandonclothingcontaminatedwith fecalmaterialfromsheddingpigs,but officialsbelievebiosecuritymeasuresfound effectiveincontainingTGEVwillalsobe effectivewithPEDV. “Severalvirucidaldisinfectantshave beendemonstratedtobeeffectivetoinactivatePEDV,suchasformalin(1%),sodium carbonate(4%anhydrous),lipidsolvents andstrongiodophors(1%)inphosphoric acid,”saystheIowaPorkIndustryCenter onitsPEDVfactsheet. “Examplesofdisinfectantseffective againstPEDVincludeClorox,VirkonS, StrokeEnvironandTek-Tol.” Theorganisationsayssanitisingand dryingorheatingpigtrailersisalso effectiveagainstPEDV.Temperatures above150degreesFformorethan10 minuteswillinactivatethevirus. Snelsonsayssanitationandbiosecurity measuresareessentialtopreventthespread ofthevirusbypeople– specificallytransportvehiclepersonnel. “PEDVdoesnotaffectpeople– pigs aretheonlyknownhost.Itisnotafoodsafetyconcern.Thevirusisnotatraderestrictivediseaseandhasbeenpresentin manycountriessuchasGreatBritainand Asiafordecades.”


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NEWS Zoetis combats PED virus Zoetishasaffirmeditscommitmenttofindingasolution tohelpcontroltherecentoutbreakofPorcineEpidemic Diarrheavirus(PEDvirus).Thedevastating,costlyvirus hasbeenpositivelyidentifiedin17statessinceApril. “Asaveterinarian,Iamcommittedtofindinga solution,includingquick-yieldingdiagnostictoolsand efficaciousvaccines,thatcancontrolthisdevastatingvirus,” saidMichaelSenn,DVM,MS,manager,PorkTechnical Services,Zoetis. “Wearedrawinguponourglobalresearchanddevelopmentresourcesaswellasworkingwithhealthauthorities andveterinarycentersofexcellenceworldwidetoidentify effectivesolutionsandhelptheporkindustryachieve results.” ZoetisissupportingUniversityofMinnesota researcherstodeveloparapidPEDvirusdiagnostictest. “Helpingfundthedevelopmentoftherapiddiagnostic toolisjustonewayweareinvestinginandfindinga solutionagainstthisvirus,”saidGloriaBasse,Vice President,USPorkBusinessUnit,Zoetis. “Webelievethatdiagnostictoolsandvaccinesarepart ofthesolutionequation.Ourresearchanddevelopment teamswillcontinuetocollaboratewithouruniversityand industrypartnersuntilthisdiseaseiscontrolled.” PEDvirus,similartotransmissiblegastroenteritis (TGE),cancausedevastatinglossesupto100%ininfected pigletsupto3weeksofage.Weanedpigsandadultpigs areatlesssevererisk,buttheycansufferreducedgrowth rates.Thevirusspreadsrapidlythroughaherdviafecaloralcontaminationandinfectspigswithin12to36hours. “Whilewecontinueoureffortstodeterminethebest solutiontoPEDvirus,it’simportantthatproducersremain vigilanttotheirherd’shealthandcontacttheirveterinarian iftheysuspectabnormalities,”DrSennsaid. “Producersshouldheightentheirbiosecurityawareness. Thisoutbreakservesasagoodremindertoreviewbiosecuritypracticeswithyouremployees,truckersandconsultants whohaveregularcontactwithyourfarm. “DrSennsuggeststhesebiosecuritypracticessharedby theAmericanAssociationofSwineVeterinarians: • Labelandusechutesforloadingandunloading.Usethe loadingchuteonlyforanimalsthatareleavingyourfarm. Healthyanimalsunloadedusingtheloadingchutecouldbe exposedtothevirus. • Washanddisinfectallunloadingchutesanddriverareas asoftenaspossible.Usea2%phenol-baseddisinfectantin theareaswheredriverswalktoenterthechute,frompoint ofentrytothetopandallareaswherethechutecontacts thetruck. • Requirethatalltrailersusedtopickupanimalsbe cleanedanddisinfectedbeforearrival.Besuretoallow enoughtimeforthedisinfectanttodrybeforeuse. • Providecoverallsandbootsforemployeestowearwhile onthefarm.Thesematerialsshouldstayon-siteandbe washedroutinely. •Ifyourfarmallowsguests,providecleardirectionfor wheretheyshouldreportuponarrival.Also,providethem withcoverallsandbootsbeforetheyenteranyfacilities.

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NEWS APL holds live on-line ‘Butcher’s Battle Plan’ Webinar salestoWoolies,ColesandAldiandthat consumershadpurchasedslightlylessthan lastyearbutwereshoppingmorefrequently andputtinglessmeatinthefreezer. “Whyarebutchersloosingsales?”he asked. “Fewerpeoplearecomingthrough theirdoors.Butchershavelost1in6of theircustomersasthesupermarkets continuetostepuptheirgain. “Thisisaretailerproblem,nota promotionalissue,”MrHaydonstated. “Peoplestilllovebutchers,thequality theyofferalongwithpersonalisedadvice, buttheenemyforbutchersistheconveniencethesupermarketsoffer. “Astrategytolessenthistrendcouldbe bettercommunicationswithcustomers throughphone,text,emailsanddelivery service,”hesuggested. “Otheroptionsthatmimickedsupermarketstrategyincluded‘pickandgo’for stableitemsand‘vacpac’toextendshelf life. “Sevenoutof10ColesandWoolies shoppersownandusealoyaltycard.If coffeeshopscanrunloyaltyschemeshow hardwoulditbeforbutcherstodothe same,”hecommented. “Manycustomersshopforfivedays meatsupply,considerofferingsignificant

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discountsforthefinalday’smeal. “Packagingmeatforconsumerappeal andconveniencehasbeenastrengthof supermarketsmeatsalestrategy.Retail butcherscanhelpcustomerswithpackagingthathelpsthemstoremeatinthe freezersotheycaneasilyidentifyitby speciesandnumberofserves,”hesuggested. TerryEdgarreturnedtopresentsome practicalideasderivedfromasmallresearch groupandtheirideaswhichhadproduced someverysignificantresultsincludingthe following. “Thefirstcasestudyintroducedby TerrywasRobbieBertramfromSwan ValleyWAwhointroducedarangeofready madepizzasintohisshopthataresupplied byamanufacturereadyforsale. “Thesixvarieties,soldintwosizes, deliversaprofitof$4to$5asaleandthe volumehasreached100itemsaweek. “Notonlydoesthisaddahandyfigure totheshop’sbottomline,itintroducesnew customerstothebusiness,”Terryreported. Butchersandtheirbusinessesareavital componentoftheoverallporksector.Not onlyaretheyavaluablechanneltosupply consumerswithbothproductandadvice, theirsurvivalandsuccessinafiercely competitiveretailenvironmentensuresa morecompetitivemarketforsuppliers. Everyoneinthebusinessshouldinvest 45minutestotakeinthewebinar– anovel wayofcommunicatinginaverytraditional industry.

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OnAugust13from7pmto7.45pm AustralianPorkLimited(APL)heldalive on-lineseminar– theButcher’sBattlePlan Webinar. Thenationaleventcoveredvitalissues includinganAPLoverview,anindependentretailchannelperformanceupdate coveringpercentageshareoftradingwhen comparedtosupermarketsandconsumer researchandresultstoassistwithkeeping upwiththemoderndaycustomer. Thoughregisteredtoparticipate,Pork Journal,thankstoproblemswithourNBN connection(ifyou’vestatisticallygotNBN youcan’thaveADSL,sowehaveneither!) andourwirelessmodemwasnotuptothe taskofmaintainingalink. FortunatelyforbothPork Journal and thoseinterestedinbutchers’relationship withporkthereisa45minuteYou-Tube oftheeventatyoutu.be/F71muW5ruz4 TerryEdgar,whorunstheButcher’s BattlePlaninitiativeforAPL,introduced theWebinarbystatingthattheon-line approachoftheWebinarrecognisedthe pressuresonretailbutcherstimeand availability. PeterHaydon,APL’sMarketing Manager startedhispresentationwiththe soberingfactthat,“independentretail butchershadlost2%shareoffreshmeat

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NEWS UK retailers edging towards next food scandal NationalPigAssociation(UK)isworried thatthefoundationsforthenextfood scandalarealreadybeinglaidbysome retailersastheyedgeawayfromtheshorter supplychainstheypromisedfollowing Horsegate. NPAhasnotedanumberofpork, baconandgammonlinesbeingswitched backtoimportedproduct,becauseitis marginallycheaper. Itisnotnamingtheretailersconcerned untilithashadmeetingswiththemtofind outtheirreasonsforretreating fromtheirpost-Horsegate

promisestointroduceshortsupplychains. Sincetheheathascomeoffthehorsemeatscandalwe’vestartedtoseeretailers slidingbackfromthestrongBritishpositiontheypubliclyadopted,andimport moreEuropeanproduct,”saidNPAgeneral managerDrZoeDavies. “Consumersexpectsupermarketsto deliverontheirpost-Horsegatecommitmentstoshortentheirsupplychainsby buyingsafefoodproducedinBritain.

Iftheythinktheycanreturntotheir oldhabitsassoonasourbacksareturned theyhadbetterthinkagain,becausewe won’tletthismatterdropandnorwillour friendsintheNationalFarmersUnion.” Britainimportsaround60percentof itsporkandporkproductsandNPA believesthiscouldbereducedifallretailers weregenuinelycommittedtobuilding shortersupplychainagreementswith Britishproducers.

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SPECIAL FEATURE A retrospective of the Australian pig industry. Part One By JIM BERTING BSc (Agric) ArrivinginAustraliain1966Isawthelocalindustryfromanewcomer’sperspective.FrompreviousexperiencewiththeUKand Europeanpigindustriesoversomeyears,Ihadseenhow,around theworld,pigproducersandtheirpigsadapttolocalcircumstances ofclimate,foodsourcesandconsumerdemand. IntheUK,pig-raisingwaschangingrapidlyintoplanned operationsfollowingtherecentpublicationofthebookProfitable Pig Production byRFJohnson.Heobservedthattimedbreeding andregularproductionwaspossiblebyweaninglittersona Thursdayandjoiningthesowsthefollowingweek,withsupervised matings. Thatwasthebeginningoftheroutinethatisfollowedtoday. Hitherto,sowshadbeenweanedwhenthepigletsreachedacertain age,generallyeightweeks,andthetimingofre-matingwasleftto thesows.Productionwasquitehaphazard.Thepigsranthe producerratherthanthereverse. Atthesametime,growingout(fattening)pigstomarketinso-

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calledDanishtypeshedswasbecomingpopular.The Danishlayoutwasoriginallydesignedforkeepingthe pigswarminwinterandcoolinsummer,byhousing themindoorswithwinterhayorstrawstorageoverhead–insulation.Toachievethis,penswere arrangedintworowseithersideofacentralaccess andfeedingpassagewithwateringanddunging encouragedinpassagesoneithersideoftheshed. Theprinciplewashugelymisunderstoodin theUKandlateralsoinAustralia.Thekeywas thehay/straw-loft,butmanypiggerieswere builtinthebeliefthat,foreaseofoperation, thecentralandsidepassageswerewhat mattered.Consequentlymanyquite unsuitableexampleswerebuilt,draughty structuresofunlinedcorrugatedironhousingpoorly-performing,chilledanduncomfortable pigs. Intheearly1960sthisgrowersheddesignwasalsowidely adoptedfortheadaptationofinsulatedpoultryshedsinto piggeriesfollowingthecollapseoftheUKbroilerchickenindustry. Thosenewcomerstopigproductionsoonfoundthatlitteringthe sidepassagewithstrawmadedailycleaningverylaborious.The nextstepwasomittingthestrawandremovingthewasteasslurry, withasqueegee.Soonnewpiggerieswerebuiltwithslatteddung passages,allowingwasteremovalfrombeneathwithapump. AsanadvisoryofficerwiththeLondon-basedfeedcompanyI workedfor,Iwasinvolvedwithsupplyingdesignsforchanging boilershedsovertopigproduction,aninnovationthatledto completemodularconstructedpiggeriesbecomingavailable. (IvisitednorthernItalywherethecompanyalsotraded.Theirpig industrytoowasprogressing,albeitbasednotonthebacontrade butonprosciuttoandsalamiproductionandcheesewheyfrom thedairyfactories.) RationalisationofproductiontoJohnson’sorganisedplan madepossibleincreased,regularoutputwithminimallabour. Alliedwithindoorfarrowingpens,thesemodernconstructions couldbestockedwitharegularsupplyofpigs,withregularoutput,allyear.Whatwaslatercalledfactoryfarminghadarrived. ItwasatthattimethatIcametoAustraliaandjoinedLes DowneyintheVictorianDeptartmentofAgriculture. Ialsoestablishedasmalloutdoor/indoorpiggerythatprovided on-goinghands-onexperience,whileenablingmetoqualifyasa ‘PrimaryProducer’totakeadvantageofthefavourableregulations applying. Pigproductionherewasintransitionfromusingskimmilkto feedingdrygrainandmeatmeal.Manydairyfarmerswerequite happytosellwholemilkinplaceofcreamandquitthepigscene. Despitetheconstructionofoneortwopiggerieswithtotally indoorproductionbydairyfactoriesnowtakingwholemilk,that trendhadledtosuchashortageofpigsforslaughterthatthe baconfactorieshadhadtorationproductsuppliestotheirretail customers. Quarantineregulationsrequiringanyimportedpigmeattobe cookedandpackedandincansofnotmorethat11/2lbs(approx 650g)maderectifyingthesupplysituationproblematical. Inresponse,theMayfairHams&BaconCo.atBendigo,


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SPECIAL FEATURE Victoria, engagedapig specialist,Dr. DudleySmith, tooverseethe developmentofa large-scalepigproductionunitto securetheirownsupplyofpigsforslaughter.Onasitejustout ofBendigotheyplanned aunitbasedon500 breedingsowsproducing about9,000slaughterpigs p.a.Whenthatwasrunning successfully,Mayfairplanedto addanotherthreesuchunits,to atotalof2,000sowsonthesite. Pigraisingonthisscale, requiringoperationbyspecially trainedstaff,wasunheardof.Itwas thefirstexampleofverticalintegrationinthepigindustryinAustralia. Suchadeparturefromthetraditional10-30sowherdswassomethingreally remarkable.JohnCraven,areporterwith TheWeeklyTimes,sawthepotential impactofthisdevelopmentandsuggesteda conferencetohighlighttheachievement andexplainitsadvantages.Inearly1967, theVictorianDept.ofAgricultureandthe WeeklyTimesmountedtheConferencein Melbourne,attractingwideattentionand acclaim. Attheconclusionitwasremarked that“thepigindustryhasnowcomeof age”.SubsequentAustralia-widedevelopmentsattesttothesuccessoftheconference,theboldnessofMayfairandDr. Smithandthevisionofallconcerned. FundamentaltoDr.Smith’ssuccess atBendigowasthecooperationoftheVic., Dept.ofAgric.insettingupfacilitiesat DookieAgriculturalCollegefortheproductionofHysterectormy-Produced ArtificiallyReared,SpecificPathogenFree, pigletstostockthenewunitwiththe healthiestpigspossible;thefirstSPFpigs inAustralia. Thiswasnecessarytoavoidstock infectedwithwhatwasthenknownasVPP (viruspneumoniaofpigs),swinedysentery, atrophicrhinitisandvariousstrainsofsalmonellaetc.whichwerecommonlyfound intheexistingpigpopulation.(ThepneumoniaI’dknownintheU.K.didnotkill pigs,whereasinVictoriathepneumonia affectingpigswasoftenlethal.) Dr.SmithincludedinhisHYPARdeliveredstockexamplesofallthepig

breedsthenavailableinAustralia,soasto haveaslargeagenepoolaspossible.The herdwasthenclosedtostockimports,to maintainstricthealthquarantineforthe operation. Whichbringsmetopigquality.My clearimpressiononarrivalfromUKwas thattheAustralianpigs,mainlyYorkshire LWandLandrace,weregenerallymeatier andbetterdeveloped,withlarger“eye”

muscleandmeatierstreak,thanIwasused to.Theywereextremelygoodandyielded topqualitycarcaseswhencorrectlymanagedandfed.Incorporationofthese qualitiesinDrSmith’sgenepoolwasmost promising. Ishallreturntothisaspectlater. DuelargelytotheWeeklyTimes conferenceandJohnCraven,theexample w setbyMayfairandDrSmithwassoon

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SPECIAL FEATURE v followedatseverallocationsinAustralia. Also,foralimitedperiodtheVictorian DepartmentofAgricultureopenedtothe industryatlargetheopportunityto purchasehealthystockfromtheDookie HYPARfacility. Therateofprogressthroughtheindustrywasgreatlyhelpedbythetaxationrules (sincerepealed)thenineffectthatprovided foracceleratedwritedownofnewagriculturalbuildingcosts.Coupledwithavery lowvaluationfortaxpurposesof‘natural issue’pigsbornintheunitandfavourable pigprices,thismadethefinancingof buildingandstockinganewpiggeryan attractiveproposition. Thesalevalueofthepigsfromthefirst stagebuiltundertheserulesyieldeda significantmarginoverthetaxvaluation. Thatmargincouldbeused,bydeferring thetaxliability,tooffsetsomeoftheestablishmentcostofsubsequentstages,withthe in-houseselectionofadditionalbreeders alsobeingmuchcheaperthansourcing elsewhere.Homeproductionoffuture breederspavedthewayforselectionon observedperformanceofalargenumberof pigsandtheemploymentofapopulationgeneticsbasedbreedingprogramme. Taxationoftheoutputremainedata minimumsolongastheexpansion continued. Competitionforslaughterpigskept farmpricesatprofitablelevels.Producer paymentwasaccordingtoavisualappraisal ofcarcasesbythebaconfactorygrader, usingtermsuchas‘prime’oreven‘super prime’.Inthosedaysa‘SuperPrime’ baconpigasassessedbythetopbacon factorieswasonewithnomorethan23 mmbackfatatthemidline! Meanwhileresearchershad shownthatmeasurementoffat depthattwosites(C&K)over theeyemuscleshowedstrong correlationwiththemeatcontentofcarcases,laterfinding littlelossofaccuracyifasingle measurement(P2)weremade overthethickestpartofthe muscle.EntertheIntroscope andothersimilardevices,followed laterbyultra-soundformeasuringlive animals. ThevalueofadoptingprobemeasurementswasshowninatestbytheVictorian DepartmentofAgricultureatawell-known baconfactory.Asampleofcarcaseswas assessedbythefactory’svisualgrader,introscopeprobedandthenafullrashertaken fromeachcuredcarcaseattheprobepoint.

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Acomparativedisplayoftheserasherswas thenfurtherassessedbythesalesmanager. Theresultshowedthatthevisualgrader correctlyidentifiedthemostsaleable carcasessignificantlylesswellthanthe probe,althoughprobingwasnot100% successfuleither.Thatinformationwas soonadoptedthroughouttheindustryas baconmanufacturerssawtheadvantagesof themethodfortheirqualitycontrol. Amajorityofpigsstillwentthrough saleyards,althoughconsignmentdirecttoa baconfactorywasincreasing.Withthe possibilityofmoreaccurategradingof carcasesitwassuggestedthatthesaleyard bereplacedwithasight-unseen,liveauction. Thiswouldworkwithbuyersinaroom,as withwoolauctions,biddingonbatchesof pigssubmittedforsalewhilestillonthe farm.Theofferingswerelistedonacomputerscreen,andtheschemebecame knownas‘ComputerAidedLivestock Marketing’,CALM. Theownerhadonlytosayhowmany pigswereofferedwithadescriptionoftheir expectedcarcasegrading,accordingtoamatrixof weightandfat

measurements. Thebuyerwouldprice suchpigsandregisterhisintention topurchase.Afterthesale,theproducer wouldbenotifiedofthepricebidforhis pigs,bywhomandwheretodeliverthe pigs.

However,tocoverthepossibilitythat theproducer’sdescriptionwasnotaccurate, whetherbyaccidentorotherwise,ifwhen thecarcasewasmeasureditwasfoundnot tomatchtheproducer’sdescription,an alternative,lower,pricewouldapply,again accordingtothematrix.Thatwaythe buyerwasnotdisadvantagedbyhavingbid onpigsthatturnedoutnottosuithis requirements. Soenteredtheindustry-wideconcept ofa‘Penalty’formis-description,possibly oneofthemostunfortunatedevelopments toblighttheindustry.I’lltellyouwhy. Withanincreaseinover-the-hooks directsalesandfactorygradingbecomingmorepopular,CALMbecame redundant. Whereastheprincipleofdiscountingthepriceactuallypaidonaccount ofthepigssoldthroughCALMnotmeetingtheexpectationofthebuyerisinherentlyfairitfosteredthenotionthat producersmightbeuntrustworthy,even devious.Thenotionofthepenaltythus becameasticktobeatthemwithevenfor pigsconsigneddirecttothefactory.One buyerwasheardtosay“they’llhavetogive usgoodpigsnow”,asthoughsubstandard pigswereproduceddeliberately.Ithas stuckinthemindsofbuyersever since,unfortunatelyperpetuatinganadversarialmistrust betweenproducerandprocessor. Thatwasapitybecausethe basicideahadthepotentialto encourageimprovementofpork qualitywithanimprovedpricepaid forbettercarcases.Thatdidn’thappen,becauseofthewayporkistraded. Itisacomfortingnotiontobelieve thatthetypeofporkconsumersprefer mightcommandabetterpricethat floweddowntorewardtheproducer– thatthepricepaidtotheproducerwillbea reflectionoftheretailpriceofporkor bacon.Butitdoesn’tworkthatway. WhenIenteredtheMelbournemarket inthe1970s,asmanagerofthenewly constructed550-sowRomahilpiggery,later tobeexpandedto1,300sows,Iasked aroundallthepotentialbuyersforadefinitionofthetypeofpigrequired,soasto haveaguideonhowtoproducewhatthey reallywanted.Igotnoanswerbeyond “goodpigs,nottoofat”.“Howfat?I asked.Theycouldn’tsay.Itwasnota definedaspectofwhattheyweretobuy. AtRomahillmybackgroundinpopulationgeneticsandanimalnutrition combinedtoachieverapidimprovementin


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SPECIAL FEATURE piggrowthrate andcarcaseconformation.Ourpigs gainedareputation forbeingreallymeaty, especiallyinthe‘streak’, withsmallheadsand verylittlecaulfat.Buyers alllikedthehighcarcase yield. Itwasatoughgame then,too.Onefactorywesuppliedhadkillsheetswithmany pigstagged‘CFT’.OnenquiryI foundthatitdenoted‘condemnedfronttrotters’.Someone attheserviceabattoirhadamarket fortrotters.Ialsonotedamarked riseinhindlegcondemnationsjust beforeChristmas! Theboldestruseofallwaswith anotherfactorythataskedforhispigsto bebrandedontheleftshoulderwithhis ownbrand,tobesureitwasourpigshe received.Onedayhecomplainedaboutthe pigsdeliveredfromtheabattoirsoweinvestigated.Thecarcaseswere deliveredsplit,hangingongambrels.Andindeedtheylookedshocking–untilIsawthattheleftsideswerecorrect.Someonehad unhooked74rightsidesfromthegambrelsandsubstitutedwith74 scrubpigsides!AfterthatwebrandedBOTHsidesandhadnomore trouble. Andthe‘headon/headoff ’practicewasperhapsthefinalstraw (seelater)afterwhichAusmeatdecreedthatallpigsbepricedon HSCW,toensureafairgoforproducers. ThiswasallgristformycolumnsinthePigFarmer,andwhen fromtimetotimeIlecturedtheMelbourneUniversityVeterinary studentsontheeconomicsofpigproduction.Theymusthavewonderedifallthiswasreal! SadlyRomahillisnownomore,butwhenImoved,topurchasea 220sowpiggeryinNorthernNSW,IboughtatruckloadofRomahill stocktorefreshandupdatethebreedingherd. Thatprovedinterestingasthetraditionalpigintheareawas extra-long,leanandnarrow.Whenourimprovedpigscamealong thebaconfactorymanagerexclaimed“wecan’thandlethesepigs,they havetoomuchmeatinthem”!Itwasjustanexcusefornotpayinga goodpricetothenewcomerintheArea. Porkisatraded‘commodity’pricedbysupplyandwholesale demanddaybyday.(viz.thetraditionalPorkBelliesassoldthrough theChicagoexchange).Exceptforthoseproducerssellingdirecttoa localbutcher,inthewholesalemarketthereisnosuchnotionasan ‘improved’pig.Theyarejustpigs. Thevalueofapigisinitsavailability,notitsdescription. Thatwasaveryvaluablelesson.ItwaswellillustratedbyGary GriffithwhenworkingatUniversityofNewEngland,Armidale.He spenthoursofhisownandhiscomputertimelookingforacorrelationbetweenthewholesalepricechargedtoretailersandtheprice paidtotheproducer.Hefoundthattherewasnone.Thatisthe natureofa‘commodity’market.Withinarange,itvariesaccording tootherfactorsthan‘quality’. Thematrixanditspenaltywassubsequentlyinvokedby buyers,nottoattract“better”pigsbutinattemptstogainbuying

advantageandsecuretheirrequirementsatalowermeancost thantheircompetitor– themarketatwork. Itwasthoughtthatbyofferingaverygoodpriceforthepigs withanunrealisticallylowbackfatreading,toexcitetheinterest oftheproducer,onlyasmallproportionofcarcaseswould conformandthepenaltyappliedtotheotherswouldaverage downthevalueofthetotalbatch. IfPrimepricewereofferedforcarcaseswith,say,16mm backfatwhenonlyafewmightbethatlean,theybelievedthata costadvantagemightbeobtained. Butsoonproducerssuppliedpigswithmostofthemfitting intointhatnewprimerange,inthebeliefthatthatwaswhatwas wantedandtochasethehigherprice.Thatwouldnotdoforthe buyer,asthebatchwasthenoutoflineinoverallcost.Sothe Primestandardwasthenloweredto14mm. Againitwasnotlongbeforeahighproportionofthepigs metthatstandard,frustratingthecommoditytradepricing required.Andsoon,forlowerandlowerbackfatmeasurement forprimeprice. w

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SPECIAL FEATURE v

Note here that the consumer was not even consulted, it was just an exercise in market manipulation. It was the result of applying the penalty mindset, not to attract better pigs but to gain a buying advantage, that in practice turned out to be illusory. The going price for pigs was, in their minds, the average of all grades not their top price, which they had no intention of paying for all, or even most, of the pigs. A comparison I conducted with a routine batch of pigs in which I priced them according to a range of buyers’ weight/fat grids, each with different prices for the leanest pigs and different fat penalties, showed the value per kg. of the batch to be effectively the same everywhere, to within less than 1c. (except when one buyer offered a much higher price per kg. but for “head-off ” carcases, when the payment per pig dropped by $4.00!) It was about this time that such developments, and the increasing, regular output from various newcomers to pig production, gave rise to a new approach to industry organisation, marketing and promotion. Gay Woltmann from Kingaroy and others successfully lobbied the Federal Government to legislate for every pig

slaughtered to pay a small promotion levy. Together with the already collected research levy it was to be used for the benefit of the whole industry. Administration of the fund was by the Pigmeat Promotion Committee, which later evolved to become the Australian Pork Corporation and then the APL we have now. That was a major advance for all producers as the stud breeders, traditional piggery owners and the more industrially oriented IPPA (Intensive Pig Producers of Australia) were all joined informally under one organisation. The adoption of probe measurement of fat depth coincided with a trend towards reducing consumer dietary fat consumption, promoted by dietician advisers and the Heart Foundation. Over-consumption of fat, especially saturated fat, was considered to be a contributing cause of heart disease and obesity, stigmatising fat consumption as though all fat is bad for you. There followed increasing enthusiasm for the adoption of pricing based on absence of fat that led to rapid changes in the type of pig coming forward for slaughter. A general consumer notion that pork is

over-fat, combined with the penalty approach to carcase pricing, produced a rather perverse outcome, as we shall see. Buyers scaling their prices with a strong bias to less and less fat led to the notion that the lean meat content was all that mattered. With the adoption of muscle depth measurement with improved probes, perhaps carcase lean meat yield could be deduced and better pricing adopted. Much research followed, fostering the notion that buyers would pay producers more for the meatier carcases – ELMY (estimated lean meat yield trading) was born. Two weaknesses showed up in this approach. Firstly, that the ELMY lean content calculation could only be made by applying a formula to the fat and muscle depth measurements already taken, with no apparent increased improvement in predicting carcase suitability for trade purposes, and secondly, that according to the practicalities of meat trading outlined above, the price for lean pigs became the pig trading price norm and all others had a ‘penalty’ applied. It all became too hard and the push for ELMY pricing fell out of favour. TO BE CONTINUED

APL/Pork CRC Roadshow and 2015–2020 Strategic Plan Industry Consultation Australia’s representative body for Australian pork producers, Australian Pork Limited (APL) is about to launch its Strategic Plan 2015–2020 Consultation and the APL/Pork CRC Roadshow. All producers are encouraged to participate DQGÀQGRXWZKHUHWKHLUUHVHDUFKOHYLHVDUHEHLQJVSHQWDQGWRKDYHLQSXWLQWRWKH²6WUDWHJLF3ODQ New South Wales – Young Tuesday 10 September Young Golf Club 3.00pm–6.00pm, followed by dinner RSVP to NSW Farmers Members Services on 1300 794 000 or goughj@nswfarmers.org.au Victoria – Shepparton Thursday 19 September Aussie Hotel 3.00pm–6.00pm, followed by dinner RSVP to Ann-Maree Hastings on 02 6270 8806 or annmaree.hastings@australianpork.com.au Queensland – Toowoomba Wednesday 2 October The Burke and Wills Motel, 554 Ruthven Street 3.00pm–6.00pm, followed by dinner RSVP to Ann-Maree Hastings on 02 6270 8806 or annmaree.hastings@australianpork.com.au

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PORK JOURNAL, July/August 2013

Western Australia – Perth (in association with WAPPA) Friday 18 October South of Perth Yacht Club Coffee Point, Duncraig Rd, Applecross WAPPA meeting commences 10.30am APL/Pork CRC Roadshow/Consultation from 2.00pm–5.00pm Annual Industry Dinner, Rowing WA Club HQ from 6.30pm RSVP to Russell Cox on 08 9479 7315, 0428 293 095 or russell@wappa.com.au Tasmania – Longford Wednesday 30 October 9HQXHWREHFRQÀUPHG For further information contact Ann-Maree Hastings on 02 6270 8806 or annmaree.hastings@australianpork.com.au Further information can be found at www.australianpork.com.au


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Pork Journal July/August 2013