Sustainable pork production

Forum: Sustainable Pork Production

Published on: 10/24/2012
Author/s : Dr. Roger Campbell (Pork CRC)
Sustainable pork production is a generic term and has different meanings for pork industries across the world and for producers within an industry. For all pork producers sustainability means staying in business and as such it is not possible to divorce sustainability from profitability which is determined by the price received for the product and the cost of producing it. Over the last 3-4 years...
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Gregg Bisset Gregg Bisset
Pig farmer
October 24, 2012
In Australia the major retailers know as much about the cost of producing pork as some of the more astute farmers. However this is the reality of doing business with them. Couple this with the knowing through contracting and other information exact numbers in the system allows them to maximise profitability. There is no point them paying farmers any more as this will not make more pigs in the short term. They might as well lift retail prices up and dampen supply and take a greater margin when a pig shortage looms. As an industry we need to understand all meat supply chains and costs to give us the information to at least pressure retailers with the knowledge of margins across all categories so we can increase market share through price difference to other meat categories in time of plentiful supply. Then rather than being a straight out loss into the retailer’s bottom line it could be more of investment into the future by increasing consumer demand. Price does still sell.
Tony Mcdonald Tony Mcdonald
November 20, 2012
I think this article is very well thought out and states the position in Thailand very well. We use probiotics in drinking and wash water, we compost all manures and treat waste water with a series of septic tanks, again treated with probiotic. We have not used antibiotics in over a year and are actively looking at growing alternate feed plants that will grow on marginal land in near drought conditions. Our sows are group housed as part of a batch breeding system.
To me the answer is in reducing internal costs by using on farm sustainable resources where possible and selling by products to cover external costs. However this would be much harder for medium and large farms, we are a very small family farm. For us, it is a matter of integrating as many parts of the farm as possible and eliminating the word waste. We brew our own probiotics and produce rice hull biochar amongst other things.
The bottom line at our level, lots of manual labour tasks. Many things we do are based on the Korean natural farming philosophies. These methods utilise local resources. If the methods could be mechanised to reduce the labour component, then maybe they could be more applicable to larger scale operations.
Jorge Giovanni Dela Cruz Jorge Giovanni Dela Cruz
November 28, 2012
Hi Tony,

I have been a technical guy who has been into corporate farming and relay so much in chemical agriculture. Even in my personal poultry and swine project I follow the technical guide given to me by feed technicians and works pretty well.
However, as I analyzed the cost and return it seems the system is not sustainable. An additional cost on antibiotics and not so good weather (that will affect the growth of pigs), then economics is not good;
this is because of the cost of production too high.
You mention a system that works for you, can you share it with us?

Thanks in advance and more power.

Jorge Giovanni N. Dela Cruz
Pig Farmer, Tampakan, South Cotabato Philippines

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Jon Bergstrom
Jon Bergstrom
Swine Nutrition & Production, Ph.D.
  Plano, Texas, United States
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