ABOVE: Since its release to industry in February 2022, 37 percent of the industry have adopted the Exoflare visitor app. Photo: Exoflare
As an industry, we know that ongoing investment is key to long-term success in shaping our industry for a stronger future.
As we continue to shift the dial and drive industry forward, it’s important that our levy payers remain engaged and have an understanding of Australian Pork Limited’s strategic direction, which was developed on extensive industry consultation and feedback.
To celebrate the great work we have already done in the areas of sustainability, pig welfare and consumer demand, it’s worth highlighting a few project achievements.
The future of our industry will continue to be marked by our research outcomes, our dedication to sustainability, the health and welfare of our pigs and our marketing efforts in understanding changing consumer demands.
Some key projects, highlighted below, have been delivered in the past 12 months – all aimed at benefiting either producers on the farm or across the supply chain.
The Exoflare visitor app has harnessed technology to manage biosecurity risks posed by farm visitors and deliveries.
This innovation shields farms from potential threats before they reach the farm gate.
By replacing paper-based compliance systems, Exoflare ensures digital compliance with quality assurance programs.
Since its release to industry in February 2022, 37 percent of the industry have adopted the Exoflare visitor app.
This training aims to minimise handling stress, improve animal performance and welfare, as well as improve job satisfaction.
APL data from a 2020-21 survey showed that 81 percent of surveyed members have adopted ProHand training.
We continue to extend training modules along the supply chain, with a review of ProHand abattoir underway this financial year and ProHand transport discussions underway.
This program enables producers to take appropriate actions to address diseases and health conditions, maximising yield outcomes based on perimortem data collected at abattoirs.
The net present value for this program is estimated to be $109 million for producers and processors over two decades.
The benefits exceed the costs by more than 3.6 times for producers and 4.6 times for processors.
Work is now underway in how this program will be returned to industry.
This technology marked a significant research moment – capable of detecting and quantifying 12 respiratory and 19 enteric pathogens in a single sample, along with the latest data from the field evaluation project conducted by Genics in collaboration with APL, SunPork Group and Riverbend Pork Group.
The project effectively demonstrated the value of Pork MultiPath in assessing herd health status and offered significant insights into the prevalence profiles of respiratory and enteric pathogens, as well as patternsof co-infections in selected Australian production units.
This technology has the potential benefit of enabling producers to monitor and assess disease prevalence by identifying herd health issues before they arise.
This in turn could reduce treatment costs.
Producers are encouraged to speak with their veterinarians or visit genics.com.au for more information.
Predictive Shelf-Life Model
This project has unravelled the shelf life of vacuum-packed pork at varying temperatures and devised a tool to predict this crucial metric.
By identifying diverse shelf-life profiles across storage temperatures, the project showcased up to 82 days – about two and a half months – of longevity at approximately -0.5C.
This tool enables informed decision-making, curbing wastage and premature quality decline.
In-field research trials are now required to further evaluate its performance across various processing facilities and product types.
Oritain’s traceability program is a cost-effective system for verifying the country-of-origin labelling claims for bacon and ham.
This project conducted 72 tracebacks of ham and bacon products across an array of retail outlets, brands and geographic sites.
Encouraging consumers to preference locally grown Australian pork – bacon and smallgoods – remains a core objective for APL.
Intramuscular fat benchmarking and sensory evaluation
An important finding from this study was that IMF percentage was positively associated with sensory eating quality, even within the low IMF range.
We know that a positive eating experience impacts future consumer preference when choosing fresh pork.
This study confirms that altering IMF percentage and collagen characteristics, whether by genetic selection or nutritional manipulation, offers a means of modifying eating quality for consumer benefit.
Black Solider Fly Project
Through the Rural Research and Development for Profit program collaboration, the ‘Closing the Loop, Black Solider Fly technology to convert agricultural waste’ project aimed to develop low-value agricultural waste into high-quality fertilisers and soil enhancers by utilising the amazing digestive power of the flies.
By fostering new technologies and liaising with policymakers and farmers, this venture explored the potential for sustainably managing pig waste and supporting cropping and horticultural production with safe value-added fertilisers.
Enhancing pig health and welfare
In collaboration with the University of Queensland, APL is working towards a Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine to safeguard sow health and mitigate piglet mortality.
The development and potential market release of a pig specific JEV vaccine will enable producers to plan early, take preventative action and further minimise potential human health risks associated with this viral zoonotic disease.
A recent APL-funded project also investigated viable alternatives to traditional straw, finding hessian squares to be an effective alternative enrichment material in farrowing environments.
When combined with a high-fibre diet prior to farrowing, multiple sow and piglet benefits were observed, including increased colostrum production and improved pain tolerance in sows.
This research provides insights for producers who might be seeking alternative enrichment materials.
In APL’s ongoing commitment to a shared industry vision, we recently sat down with research scientists and industry peers to draft a comprehensive research and development green paper.
This document aims to map out the strategic research and policy initiatives essential for fostering and amplifying industry growth over the next decade.
But for now, in the upcoming months, the APL team will actively engage with industry through a series of producer-focused events.
These meetings present an excellent opportunity to learn about APL’s work, have a say on industry positions and hear about recent outcomes and improvements in the areas of biosecurity, workforce, sustainability and leadership.
If you’re interested in attending or have any questions about the APL Producer Roadshow schedule, email APL’s extension and capability manager Rowena Davis at email@example.com to register, we look forward to seeing you there!
The roadshow schedule of events:
- September 8 – Bendigo Victoria, Quality Hotel Lakeside, 2-5pm
- September 11 – Toowoomba Queensland, Burke & Wills Hotel, 2-5pm
- September 12 – Murgon Queensland, Murgon Services Club, 2-5pm
- September 14 – Gunnedah NSW, Club Gunnedah, 3-5:30pm
- September 20 – Perth Western Australia, Bentley Technology Park, 2-5pm
- October 18 – Young NSW, Young Services Club, 3-5:30pm