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CEO Update – 8 May 2020
The downward pressure on pig prices due to COVID-19 continues to concern the entire industry, especially producers whose established selling avenues are suspended.
APL’s highest priority is to support producers, not just in terms of their profitability but also their wellbeing. COVID-19 has created a lot of noise across industry, government and the community, but I can assure all producers that your concerns are being heard by APL and acted on.
News today regarding the revision of COVID-19 isolation measures for restaurants and cafes will help our foodservice industry start to reclaim its status as a pivotal part of our supply chain. The temporary loss of foodservice outlets, normally representing 20 per cent of all Australian pork sales, has been absorbed extraordinarily well by the rest of the market.
Overall, the ability of producers, processors, wholesalers and exporters to respond so nimbly to COVID-19 hurdles has demonstrated the resilience of our industry.
That we have Australian pork flowing into new and existing export markets is a wonderful achievement and a credit to the entrepreneurial determination of all involved. This exported product has taken a great deal of pressure off the market, while our efforts to redirect ribs and bellies usually sold via foodservice are gaining traction with retailers and consumers.
I was pleased to participate in APL’s Talking Pork and All Things Foodservice podcast this week, hosted by Venessa Barnes, our Foodservice Business Development Manager. The interview was an opportunity to share with the foodservice audience, and the wider industry, updates about how APL and the whole supply chain are responding to the challenges of COVID-19.
APL is working with all producers, and with the help of government, to achieve the best possible outcomes both now and in the longer term.
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak at a Melbourne sheep and cattle abattoir, the united message this week from agriculture ministers about the food safety of Australian meat has reflected the strong support the rural sector is receiving from governments.
APL’s colleagues at The National Farmers’ Federation have compiled a two-page document to answer questions frequently asked by farm businesses regarding their eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment. A range of information regarding other government assistance packages for businesses can be found on the NFF’s FarmHub website.
While a number of significant challenges remain, we should be quietly encouraged about how the industry, overall, has been navigating a very tricky period. I’m determined to ensure we’re well placed to make the most of the opportunities which arise as the COVID-19 recovery phase commences.
– Margo Andrae, APL CEO
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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.