Livestock

Pork pressure

By Country News

The VFF Pig Group is calling on consumers to support Victorian pig producers as the industry experiences a trading downturn.

A period of increased sales and prices had led to an upgrade of farming infrastructure, improved productivity and increases in sow herd size and carcase weight growth — resulting in an oversupply of pigs in the market.

The VFF said as a result, some producers were finding it difficult to source a market for their pigs, putting many pig producers and their families under financial and mental strain.

‘‘Our primary concern is for Victorian pig farmers and their families,’’ VFF Pig Group president Tim Kingma said.

‘‘If we can encourage Victorians to add one extra fresh pork meal a week to your shopping trolley, it will go a long way to helping our pig industry.’’

Stanhope pork producer John Bourke said a lack of export opportunities was putting pressure on Australian producers.

‘‘All your bacon is from Denmark, your ham from the US. There’s more coming in than going out,’’ Mr Bourke said.

‘‘The only way we can even up is to go out of business or cut our cull numbers. Or eat our way out of it. That’s another option.

‘‘Get some pork on your fork,’’ he said.

The VFF said pork production was a valuable industry for Victoria’s regional communities, generating considerable economic activity and supporting more than 3000 full-time jobs.