A NEW handbook will help Australia's pork producers identify their main business risks, provide practical information on the most appropriate risk management tools and contact details for seeking additional, expert advice. Federal Agriculture Minister Warren Truss and Pork Council of Australia (PCA) president Ron Pollard launched the new handbook Managing Business Risks in the Pig Industry, saying it was an excellent example of the Government and industry working together to shore up the long-term viability of Australia's pork producers. The handbook was produced by the PCA as part of the Federal Government's National Pork Industry Development Program. "While the outlook for Australia's pork industry is encouraging at the moment, markets and prices can change quickly," Mr Truss said. "Our producers need to implement strategies now to ensure they are in the best position to manage any potential risks." Mr Pollard said pork production in Australia was a relatively high-risk business and one that required a professional management approach to ensure profitability and sustainability. "The market for pigs has changed considerably over the past few years and, while it's true imports are increasing, there are also exciting new export opportunities for our producers," he said. "That means there is no time like the present for Australian pork producers to give the risk management practices a thorough health check. I believe this handbook represents a valuable business management tool and I urge producers to get hold of a copy and start using it." Mr Truss said the handbook was another successful project under the Federal Government's $24 million pork industry restructure package. "The package involves industry and government working co-operatively to provide assistance to Australia's pork producers in adapting to change, seizing new market opportunities and becoming more internationally competitive," he said. Managing Business Risks in the Pig Industry was launched at the Victorian Farmers Federation pig group annual general meeting in Melbourne. Copies have been posted to all pork producers nationally. Copies are also available by calling PCA, (02) 6273 5222 or 0418 697 595.