Board chief wants more pork on forks
New Australian Pork chairman David Lock says his organisation will step up successful marketing efforts to increase the nation’s pork consumption and help embattled pig producers.
Mr Lock, a WA businessman, takes over the role of AP chairman on Sunday, replacing NSW’s Enzo Allara, who resigned from the board to pursue other interests.
Mr Lock has a wealth of experience in the pork industry, as chief executive of the Craig Mostyn Group for 11 years until 2015, and as a consultant to AP, a producerowned organisation, since January.
Australian pork supply is estimated to now be 10 per cent higher than demand, even though pork consumption had been increasing consistently at about 5 per cent a year . Mr Lock said after about seven years of good prices, which ended in mid-2017, producers had increased sow numbers.
There had also been efficiency increases, with sows producing more piglets.
“The industry reached a tipping point where there are too many pigs, causing prices to drop,” he said. To help bolster demand, AP had committed to spending all of its surplus funds, including reserves, on increased marketing.
AP already spends about $10 million a year on promotions includconsumers ing the “Get Some Pork on Your Fork” campaign, which is credited as a main reason for the recent growth in consumption.
He said WA, which represents about 10 per cent of the Australian industry, got its fair share of AP’s Australia-wide marketing spend at about 12-13 per cent.
Another driver was the rise of TV cooking shows which had brought pork into the mainstream.
Although the volume of pork imports had fallen (165,000 tonnes annually to April, compared with 171,000 tonnes a year earlier), Mr Lock was hopeful country of origin labelling, which becomes mandatory from next week, could encourage more local pork to be consumed. He said a correction in the supply-demand balance would happen quicker if there were fewer pigs Australia wide.
Difficult conditions could encourage some people to leave the industry, while others may reduce production, he said. He called on to help the industry by eating more Australian pork.
“Any fresh meat, or any processed meat with a bone in it, consumers can be certain is Australian pork,” he said.
“In WA, anything with a Buy West Eat Best sticker, consumers can also be certain is Australian.”
Mr Lock is also chairman of WA seafood company Mareterram and the WA Meat Industry Authority, and deputy chairman of the Water Corporation.
David Lock is the new chairman of Australian Pork.