A conventional, or indoor piggery

A Conventional (indoor) piggery is the default definition for APIQ certification. This applies to all piggeries that do not meet specific requirements to be defined as Free Range or Outdoor Bred – Raised Indoors on Straw.

Indoor Piggeries:

  • Have all stages of production: weaners, growers and breeding stock fully or partially housed
  • Meet the APIQ Environmental Standards for Outdoor Pigs when pigs are kept outdoors in areas that are not within the piggeries controlled effluent system
  • May meet the definition of a feedlot piggery under the APL National Environmental Guidelines for Piggeries
  • Do not meet the requirements for other APIQ certification types.
APIQ Free Range

A Free Range piggery keeps pigs outdoor their entire life. They are provided with shelter from the elements with bedding available.

Free Range piggeries have:

  • Outdoor paddocks
    • Rooting and/or foraging areas
    • Wallows (where state regulations and seasonal climates permit)
    • Kennels/huts for shelter. Huts provide protection for the piglets when they are very young
  • Pigs must be able to move freely in and out of the shelter and around the paddocks. An exception can be made for routine husbandry or diagnostic procedures
  • Meet the APIQ environmental standards

Note: Shelters or sheds with verandas or small pens attached are NOT considered Free Range. These areas do not qualify for Free Range or Conditional Free Range Certification. The National Environmental Guidelines for Piggeries classifies this as a ‘Feedlot Outdoor Piggery’.

APIQ Outdoor Bred, Raised Indoors on Straw

An 'Outdoor Bred, Raised Indoors on Straw’ piggery means that breeding pigs live in open spaces. They have free access to paddocks for their entire adult life.

To classify, pigs need access to:

  • Rooting and foraging areas
  • Wallows where conditions and local regulations allow
  • Bedded shelter
  • Adequate feed and water provided
  • Meet the APIQ environmental standards and Performance Indicators
  • Piglets are born and raised under these conditions until weaning

At weaning, piglets move to bedded grow-out housing with adequate feed and water provided. They remain here until sale or slaughter.

Housing can be permanent or portable structures or outdoor pens with shelter. Shelters must have an impermeable base and/or be moved regularly to minimise nutrient leaching and runoff.

Pigs may be confined to pens for routine health treatments and husbandry practices, or when directed by a veterinarian.

APIQ Gestation Stall Free

A piggery is Gestation Stall Free if:

  • Sows and gilts are kept in loose housing from at least five days after mating until one week before farrowing
  • Kept in loose (group) housing
  • Sows and gilts – either singularly or in groups – have freedom of movement i.e. they can turn around and extend their limbs
  • The housing of pigs must meet the Model Code for the Welfare of Pigs space allowance requirements
  • Comply with the APL Gestation Stall Free Definition and APIQ Standard and Performance Indicators for Gestation Stall Free *listed in 'Option A' of the Standards Manual

Exceptions include:

  • Hospital/Special Care Stalls used to house pigs temporarily. Used to provide special care for sickness, injury, given medications and other health treatments
  • Feeding stalls used to confine an individual pig for feeding and/or animal husbandry reasons. This can be for vaccination, pregnancy confirmation, etc. for a time of up to 3 hours in any one day
  • Systems where individual sows are confined during gestation but meet the definition of loose housing. This includes:
    • Free access pens which contain individual feeding accommodation. They must allow the individual pig to go in and out at will
    • Electronic sow feeding systems which contain individual feeding accommodation. They must allow the individual pig to go in and out at will.

A full definition of APIQ Gestation Stall Free is available.

APIQ Customer Specifications Coles Verification

There are APIQ Standards and Performance Indicators specific to supplying pigs/pork to Coles. These standards were agreed to after extensive consultation between APL, Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd (Coles) and existing Coles suppliers.

A piggery is CSC certified if:

  • They meet the APIQ Standard and Performance Indicators for Supply to Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd (Coles) (CSC) *listed in 'Option B' of the Standards Manual. This includes:
    • Stocking density
    • Husbandry practices
    • Antibiotics, growth promotant and hormone use
    • Bedding and enrichment

Having customer specifications built into an industry’s QA program is a first for agriculture in Australia. It fits with APL’s responsibility to “create the future farmers need” listed in the company values.

CSC certification:

  • Gives all registered producers the opportunity to supply Coles. CSC is verified through the APIQ Compliance Audit process
  • Gives producers a single set of standards to comply with
  • Saves producers time and money:
    • Having one compliance audit per year, instead of two for APIQ and Coles individually
    • Having one compliance audit every two years for each site in a Joint Certification
    • Being audited by APIQ registered auditors who have been trained to audit against all APIQ Standards including CSC.


To start your certification application, familiarise yourself with the certification process. Then, contact the APIQ Management team on 1800 789 099 or email apiq@australianpork.com.au

More information can be found in the APIQ Standards Manual