23/11/2004 - 21:00

Pig fortunes on the rise

23/11/2004 - 21:00


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Pig fortunes on the rise



Helping turn around the fortunes of Western Australia’s pork industry has won the Department of Agriculture’s Pig Research and Development Group the group category award in the StateWest Achievement Awards.

In 1998 the pig industry was at a point of virtual collapse.

The industry was at the crossroad, with growers trying to decide whether to change business or exit the industry altogether.

Imported product, largely from Canada and Denmark, was also dominating the market.

The six-strong PRDG team extended its traditional role of research and production efficiency advice towards a more quality and market-driven focus.

The group quantified the export market requirements and helped the industry to change. Part of this involved the development of differentiated pork products tailor-made to suit both overseas and domestic requirements.

It was also pivotal in creating the supply chain alliance between the Agriculture Department, producers and processors, with the aim of offering consumers a high eating quality and consistent pork product.

To achieve this producers had to accept that the eating quality needed to be improved.

The group has also worked in the area of infrastructure development.

One example is the design of a new export abattoir at the Linley Valley/Wooroloo complex and the building of the Pig Skills Centre on Curtin University’s Muresk campus.

The pig industry, along with its associated flow-on effects, is worth $300 million to the State’s economy.


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