Australian Pork Limited (APL) has proposed a 90 cent increase, taking the total slaughter levy from $2.35 per pig slaughtered to $3.25. It said that the additional money raised would be used for marketing purposes, taking the marketing portion of the levy from $1.35 to $2.25.
If the proposal is agreed it will be introduced in 3 stages, with the first $0.30 increase set to come into effect from around 1 July 2012, the second from 1 July 2014 and the third from 1 July 2016.
APL has been pushing for an increase in the levy since 2009 but agreed to delay the process in February 2010 due to the “escalation” of several other industry issues. In May 2011 APL delegates agreed to move the process forward, and the body launched an industry-wide consultation.
Christine Quick, APL’s general manager of Finance & Administration, said: “The levy has not increased since 1994 with inflation during this time decreasing purchasing power by 60%, therefore the effectiveness of APL as the industry representative body to generate optimal value for levy payers is now at threat.”
Quick added that the increased levy would have numerous benefits for the Australian pig industry, including increased consumption with increased producer profit through the marketing and promotion strategy, an increase in allocation of resources towards the major policy issues including pig welfare and care, quarantine and biosecurity, safe food and product integrity, environmentally sustainable production and responsible practice and resource efficiency, in addition to strengthening and enhancing communication and engagement with producers.
She said that she expected the government to back the proposal, and that the majority of Australian pig producers were in favour of a levy increase. “A thorough consultation process was undertaken with all producers given the opportunity to have their say and questions answered,” she said. “Not all producers agree with the levy increase but the voting supported the increase - 73% for and 27% against.”