Australian pork executive challenges quality assurance scheme
Richard Evison, who did not volunteer for re-election after 12 years on the executive, told 60 producers and industry stakeholders at South of Perth Yacht Club he strongly supported the Australian Pork Industry Quality (APIQ) programme.
He said it provided food integrity and consumer confidence, but he questioned Australian Pork Limited’s move to include environmental compliance.
“It’s already covered by other authorising bodies and this move risks over-burdening producers with duplicate requirements and moves away from its core value,” he said.
“I believe the APIQ program needs to be embraced by all pork producers for it to have value to industry and consumers.”
Other concerns about 'red tape' were raised at the AGM by WAPPA executive officer Jan Cooper. In her report to the AGM, it was one of several key issues she said she was tackling, including biosecurity, a second labour agreement and barriers to growth, such as the cost of doing business.
“It is very clear that the expected growth in the pork industry will stall if planning and environmental approvals get in the way to the extent they have with some current well-known cases,” Cooper said.
Separately, Evison noted in his speech that demand for free-range pork was continuing to grow, with Western Australia continuing to supply Eastern Australia.
A new president will be elected at WAPPA’s next executive committee meeting.
The APIQ scheme is voluntary and was launched with the aim of enhancing the reputation of the Australian pork industry as a reliable supplier of safe, healthy and wholesome pork. The scheme focuses on good practices for food safety, traceability, animal welfare and biosecurity and is administered by Australian Pork Limited (APL) on behalf of the pig industry.