Board chief wants more pork on forks

Countryman - - LIVESTOCK - Jenne Bram­mer

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.

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