Library & Resources

Producer consultations for APIQ’s Major Review

As we welcome in a new decade and continue to focus on the opportunities, threats and challenges that our industry faces, I hope you that had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year period and that you, your relatives and friends remain safe as we continue to experience severe bushfires around the country.

As many of you know, APL is required to conduct a major review of the Australian Pork Industry Quality Assurance Program (APIQ✓®) every four years. The APIQ✓® program aims to be an effective risk management tool for Australian pork producers to support their businesses, assist with market access and provide reassurance to customers and other industry stakeholders. To enable the system to do this, a good understanding of stakeholder needs, both now and into the future, is required. 

After public tender, Prime Consulting International Ltd was commissioned in late May 2019 to undertake this review in consultation with stakeholders and in association with APIQ✓® management (APIQM). The major review involves the review of all APIQ✓® standards, policies, technical, management and administrative documentation and the third party auditing system. It therefore plays an important role in ensuring APIQ✓® program’s overall integrity, credibility and preparedness. This review aims to ensure that the industry has a quality assurance program that can maintain credibility and continues to meet the future needs of the pork supply chain.

A benchmark analysis has been conducted that has compared other international livestock quality assurance systems to APIQ✓® and considered emerging local and international livestock quality assurance issues that have the capacity to affect Australian pig producers. The preliminary report provided to APIQM concluded that APIQ✓®’s scope of risk management and independent third party audit arrangements compared favourably to the other international QA schemes reviewed. Prime Consulting International identified that the Netherlands IKB Varken scheme stood out from other programs, with a coverage of 99% of all commercial pork produced in the Netherlands, similar breadth of risk management and is recognised as an equivalent scheme against GLOBALG.A.P IFA Standard Version 5.1. Within Australia, the other quality assurance schemes operating in the pork industry are principally animal welfare based and their breadth of coverage across other risk management areas is lower compared with APIQ✓®.

A Reference Group has been established, involving representatives from across the pork value chain, and this group will meet on 21 January in Melbourne. The Reference Group will discuss the broad issues listed below in detail, prioritise these and provide recommendations to APIQM on which issues should be taken forward to the industry stakeholder meetings.

The broad issues for discussion by the Reference Group include:

  • The definition of a ‘site’ and a ‘paddock’
  • Physical castration in the Outdoor Standards
  • Environmental standards for indoor piggeries
  • Blockchain opportunities for the pork industry
  • Sow confinement after mating in outdoor bred certified piggeries
  • Audit frequency for high performing organisations
  • APIQü® review frequency
  • Development of a simplified QA system for small producers
  • Biosecurity standards to enable business continuity in the event of an emergency animal disease
  • Antibiotic free verification option
  • Organic verification option

Consultations with producers and other industry partners for the APIQ✓® major review will be held in February – March 2020 – these were deferred to allow the stakeholder consultations for APL’s 2020-25 Strategic Plan to be held from September to December 2019.  All members of the pork supply chain, including (but not limited to) pig producers, retailers, processors, transporters, government officers and environmental consultants, are invited to participate in this major review. Nine stakeholder communications meetings have been scheduled – these dates and details (where confirmed) are shown in the table below. There are two meetings in every state, except WA. For our Tasmanian producers, we will hold a teleconference. Locations of the meetings are Young and Casino NSW, Ballarat and Bendigo VIC, Murray Bridge and Auburn SA, Toowoomba and Murgon QLD and Perth WA.

Also, APL in conjunction with NSW Farmers Association are holding meetings in Casino on 30 January and Kempsey on 31 January in response to processing issues and ASF fears in northern NSW. The meetings will cover ASF and biosecurity issues as well as market access matters that have been brought about due to Macleay River Meats (Everson Food Processors), Frederickton no longer processing pigs.

As soon as we have confirmed further details for the WA and QLD events as well as the teleconference for Tasmanian producers, these will be communicated in APL’s weekly communique, directly emailed to producers and also provided on the APIQ✓® website

RSVP for your preferred event to rosa.josifoski@australianpork.com.au

DateVenueTiming
Thursday 30 January Casino RSL, Casino NSW 2:30-5:30 pm
Friday 31 January Kempsey RSL, Kempsey NSW 3:00-5:30 pm
Tuesday 4 February Mercure Hotel, Ballarat VIC 2:30-4:30 pm
Wednesday 5 February Bridge Hotel, Bendigo VIC 2:30-4:30 pm
Thursday 6 February Pagoda Resort & Spa, Perth WA 3:00-5:00 pm
Monday 10 February Young Services Club, Young NSW 2:30-4:30 pm
Wednesday 12 February The Rising Sun Hotel, Auburn SA 2:30-4:30 pm
Thursday 13 February Rydges Pit Lane Hotel, Murray Bridge SA 3:00-5:00 pm
Tuesday 18 February Australian Hotel, Murgon QLD 3:00-5:00 pm
Wednesday 19 February Platinum International, Toowoomba QLD 2:30-5:00 pm

We look forward to seeing you at one of these events to enable you to provide your input into the major review. Your thoughts are welcomed and can also be provided via email at apiq@australianpork.com.au.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Heather Channon on 0423 056 045 or heather.channon@australianpork.com.au.

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Australian Pork Limited

The producer owned organisation supporting and promoting the Australian pork industry. Australian Pork Limited (APL) is caring for the future of Australian pork.