News 400 views last update:Apr 9, 2008

Australia's pig farmers disappointed at Inquiry

Australia's pig farmers hope of import Safeguards and extra support for the industry's dire situation have been ignored by the final report to the Federal Government from the Productivity Commission (PC), according to Australian Pork Limited (APL) in a press release today.

APL CEO Andrew Spencer said it is reality that the industry is bursting due to cheap imports of frozen pigmeat. Added to this situation is high grain prices that are making local production completely unviable.

"This distorted attitude of the PC on short term industry support comes at great cost to the livelihoods of farmers, rural and regional communities and ultimately consumers. To continue to ignore the fact that all of Australia's pork imports come from countries that actively subsidise their pig farmers and their pork industry with tax payers funds, laughs in the face of fair trading conditions and a free trade environment," commented Spencer.

Spencer went on to say that 70% of the hams, bacon and smallgoods market is sourced from overseas. In the current environment this percentage share is only going to climb, he believes.

"The PC, by taking this stance, is in effect encouraging foreign subsidies on imports, whilst on the other hand telling Australian pork farmers they don't deserve Government support." he said.

"Other livestock industries such as beef, lamb and chicken do not suffer direct competition from imports and therefore do not have their domestic trading environment left open to these pricing distortions."

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