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CoVID-19 producer update (7 April 2020)
With a number of significant issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to assure you that APL is listening to stakeholders in the supply chain and working with governments and representative bodies to limit the impact on our industry.
The effective shut-down of the foodservice industry, representing 26 per cent of our market, has created significant supply chain disruption. Many producers are now facing a drop in prices, especially where exposure to the wholesale and foodservice supply chain is greatest.
APL is one of a number of industry bodies making strong representations at Government and Ministerial level for potential financial assistance to be extended to primary producers whose markets have been frozen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is now being actively considered by Agriculture Ministers at both State and Federal level. APL will continue to voice the need for producers to be considered in terms of access to short-term financial assistance to remain operational, especially where imperatives such as food supply, regional employment and animal welfare are at risk.
The Federal Government’s Senior Agriculture Industry Engagement Officer, Mr Mark Tucker, has an excellent understanding of the pork industry which is informed in part by his experience as a former Deputy Secretary of the Federal Department of Agriculture. Mr Tucker is proving to be an accessible and proactive conduit as government and industry work together to respond to COVID-19.
APL is working with producers, processors and exporters to limit supply chain disruption wherever possible, including trade to Singapore. APL is also encouraging smallgoods manufacturers to switch to using Australian pork to help offset a forecast oversupply of processed pigs in the coming weeks.
APL will continue to promote fresh Australian pork for consumers eating at home, as well as the importance of supporting local butcher outlets at this time. Similarly, APL is supporting foodservice outlets which are providing take-away and home-delivery services, and has launched an initiative for hospitality employees whose workplaces have closed.
A number of uncertainties remain and APL encourages producers to do everything they can to protect their businesses from the short-term and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, producers and their employees are encouraged to seek the assistance of government where needed and available. Producers can download a summary of further information regarding available assistance.
Given the restrictions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19, APIQ✓® certified producers were advised last week that all APIQ✓® Audits are currently on hold and any existing APIQ✓® Certification status will be unaffected during the hiatus.
Meanwhile, the threat of African swine fever remains high on APL’s radar. ASF has been confirmed in Papua New Guinea and APL has been active in the past week highlighting the importance of continued vigilance, even as COVID-19 occupies much of our focus.
APL is always available to assist producers in anyway it can and we welcome any enquiries.
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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.