Virtual tour aims to boost transparency in Australian pork industry
Australian Pork Limited has launched a new on-farm virtual tour in a bid to show consumers what happens in the pork production industry.
The tour, which is publicly available on APL’s website, enables city slickers to put on their virtual gumboots and take a 360-degree view of the facilities and processes involved in turning pigs into pork.
The initiative is part of a broader strategy to increase transparency and engagement after a community survey by APL last year found just one in five Australians claimed to understand or have any knowledge about the pork industry.
As well as animal welfare and supply chain processes, the tour aims to highlight biosecurity protocols in pork production.
APL chief executive Margo Andrae said the latter was particularly important given the recent focus on emergency animal disease preparedness in the livestock industry after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Indonesia.
“In the face of increasing biosecurity threats, facilitating open discussions with consumers of on-farm happenings is the greatest challenge of all,” she said.
“The tour allows people in and initiates conversations on day-to-day pork production.”
Given the threat of FMD and African swine fever, which has been spreading throughout Europe and Asia since 2018, Ms Andrae said it was vital to have educational resources that raised awareness of Australia’s pork sector.
“Unfortunately, because of increased biosecurity measures on pig farms for some time now, producers haven’t been able to welcome as many members of the public to see how they do things as they might want,” she said.
“From the technology we use to our animal husbandry practices, food safety and environmental considerations, it’s all there available for all to see within the tour.
“Our standards speak for themselves.”
APL has also been working with the Primary Industries Education Foundation of Australia to create a new suite of primary and secondary school resources which showcase the tour and will be launched in coming months.