THE WA Pork Producers’ Association (WAPPA) last week called on the Australian Government to broaden the scope of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the import of pigmeat.
WAPPA wanted the inquiry to examine the annual level of direct and indirect subsidies received by producers in Denmark, Canada and the US.
WAPPA president Graeme Dent said the subsequent findings might encourage the Government to implement the same level of support for Australian pork producers.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated EU support to EU pigmeat producers in 2003 was at 41 cents a kilogram.
“WA producers should not be penalised on farmgate price due to the price squeeze created by imports that are subject to substantial subsidies through producer support schemes, particularly from the US and Denmark,” Mr Dent said.
WAPPA also asked in its Productivity Commission submission that only pork produced under internationally recognised on-farm quality assurance programs which complied with Australia’s food safety standards, be allowed to enter Australia.
“Such measures would maintain imports for processors at a sustainable level, while creating a positive environment for the industry to invest in the new infrastructure and technology so necessary to improve economic efficiency and growth,” Mr Dent said.
“With most producers losing money, WAPPA asserts the industry is not sustainable in the current trading environment.”