AFTER a two-and-a-half-year hiatus from face-to-face meetings due to COVID 19, the Australian Pork Limited team were finally able to meet with the board, delegates and state pork groups on the Gold Coast this month for the first delegates forum of 2022.
The forum was well attended, with 31 of 32 delegates or their nominated representative, a few young producers and small producers from various states. Delegates had the opportunity to discuss topics and provide grassroots input on drivers impacting pork production.
Core issues discussed were biosecurity, animal welfare regulation, workforce development and options for migrant pathways to secure workforce labour.
These forums are invaluable in delivering the APL 2020-2025 strategic plan and our ability to deliver on objectives for industry.
Direct feedback from those working behind the farm gate underpins APL’s direction and is always gratefully received, as it is the experience and knowledge of the grassroots that safeguards the industry’s viability in turbulent times.
So far this year, we have seen farm inputs rise from the downward pressure on global supply chains that have been further impacted by rising geopolitical pressures.
Producers have been faced with Japanese encephalitis – a virus that continues to impact production as the sector faces ongoing workforce shortages.
If I’ve learnt one thing from the pandemic, it’s that no matter how prepared you are, there will always be unexpected challenges.
And now, with the recent changes as a result of the election, we need to ensure more than ever that the pork industry remains front of mind for both federal and state governments, as well as the wider community.
This engagement ensures APL’s relationships remain collaborative and our approach is strategic in mitigating and navigating the challenges we face.
The Japanese encephalitis situation, African swine fever and the growing foot-and-mouth threat in Indonesia continue to provide the momentum for the industry to secure and improve biosecurity controls.
It has been pleasing to see other livestock production sectors move to safeguard traceability over recent weeks. But with every challenge, comes opportunity, and the APL team remain committed to our strategic initiatives for the 2022-23 year ahead.
As crisis and recovery plans are enabled and the market re-adjusts, the current challenges prove that we need to be proactive in our developments across research, innovation and technology.
Producer feedback from the delegates forum in May has reaffirmed that, while we face unprecedented production challenges, we must seize the opportunity to tell the story of pork so that the future remains bright for our industry.
I would like to thank those who attended the forum, particularly those retiring.
APL appreciates the time and service of all our delegates, and we look forward to the next delegate forum to be held in November 2022 in Melbourne. This meeting will coincide with the new delegate election for 2022-2025.
Stay tuned for more news over coming months on how to confirm your APL membership, to have your say and be able to vote for your delegate representative for the next three years.