WAPPA announces new president
Wannamal producer Steve Martin has been elected
President of the Western Austrailia Pork Producers' Association (WAPPA) by the
Association's Executive Committee, after Cuballing producer Graeme Dent's fixed
three year term expired.
Martin, who was elected to WAPPA Executive in 2006, replacing Stuart Coole
of Boyup Brook, has been involved in the WA pork industry since 1997, initially
with Westpork, before starting his own operation in 2001, along with wife
Martin noted that WAPPA would continue to work closely with key
fresh pork exporters to maintain and explore further export opportunities in
Asia, enabling WA to exploit its capacity to supply increased tonnages of fresh
pork into the region.
Supporting retiring President Graeme Dent's recent
comments on GMOs, Martin said the genetically modified food debate was something
the industry needed to have to determine the benefits to pork production and the
broader agricultural industry.
â€œWith grain based feed typically
accounting for 70 per cent of our costs, access to such advanced biotechnologies
could allow farmers to grow drought tolerant, higher yielding crops, requiring
less chemicals and fertilisers.
â€œThis has the potential to lower our
input costs, while increasing production and enhancing environmentally friendly
farming,â€ Martin said.
Discussing other pressing issues faced by WA pork producers, Martin said
the shortage of available skilled and unskilled labour was one of the biggest
â€œWA pork producers, via their representative body, WAPPA,
will continue to rigorously put positions and policies on critical issues such
as water resource management and a 'whole of farm' approach to the Carbon
Pollution Reduction Scheme.
â€œWe particularly emphasise the impact input
costs will have on production, given that primary production won't, at this
stage, be included in emissions trading until 2015.
Institute modelling indicates increases in farm input costs as a result of the
Emission Trading Scheme could reduce average farm cash margins in 2016 by
between three and nine per cent, compared with a business as usual scenario,â€ he
WAPPA also continues to push Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL)
compliance, in accordance with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ)
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