Food and Agribusiness Talking Points | 23/08/18

In today’s talking points World’s top pork supplier shuts China slaughterhouse in race to contain deadly swine fever, desperate farmers call to seize the hay from exporters’ stockpiles, potentially rainy weather in store for drought-ridden portions of Australia and Queensland researchers lead push for new “superfood” seaweed industry


World’s top pork supplier shuts China slaughterhouse in race to contain deadly swine fever

After the second outbreak of Africa Swine Fever (ASF) in China, the world’s top pork producer, WH Group Ltd, has been forced to close a a slaughterhouse in Zhengzhou for the next 6 weeks.  The authorities have temporarily banned the movement of pigs and pork in the affected areas.

Africa Swine Fever has been detected in Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia, but these outbreaks are the first times that the disease has been detected in Asia.   

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), ASF does not affect humans.  However, health experts have expressed food safety concerns.    The WH Group has diverted sales to other operations within the business, and do not believe that this temporary closure will have a significant impact on their business.

Source: ABS CBN News


Desperate farmers call to seize the hay from exporters’ stockpiles 

NSW farmers are calling on the federal and NSW governments to declare the current devastating drought a state of emergency, to allow the compulsory seizure of all hay being stored for export around Australia.

Farmers with starving sheep and cattle are angry that while all stocks of hay from domestic suppliers in Victoria and South Australia have been drained, there are massive sheds owned by commercial exporters crammed with top-quality hay, particularly in West­ern Australia and South Australia, destined for cattle feedlots, vast piggeries and intensive dairy sheds in Japan, China and Korea.

“Farming is an essential service and an industry that must be supported,” says Peter Saunders, a farming leader from Cassilis in the parched upper Hunter Valley. “The government must declare a state of emergency, given the exceptional circumstances, and get this export hay released immediately.

Source: The Australian


Potentially rainy weather in store for drought-ridden portions of Australia

Some pockets of drought-stricken South Australia and New South Wales may be in for store for drought relief over the weekend. The “worst drought in living memory” has caused many farmers to sell land and livestock in order to afford to maintain what’s left. Though drought-busting rainfall is not expected, a storm system moving in from the Bight will spark a few cool showers, dampening coastal and eastern portions of South Australia through the end of the week. Upon reaching the coast, this system will tap into moisture from the sea, promoting a resurgence of heavier rain and storms. Residents of southeastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales could experience a few strong thunderstorms, perhaps containing gusty winds and hail.

Source: Accu Weather


Queensland researchers lead push for new “superfood” seaweed industry

University of the Sunshine Coast researchers are looking at leading a new type of seaweed industry in Australia.

According to USC biologist, Dr Nick Paul, seaweed has a lot of health and environmental benefits.

The push is to make seaweed be a new “superfood” and be part of the industry. Various USC researchers are collaborating together to market and showcase the positive effects of seaweed.

The importance of this new industry is to marketing seaweed as a product of Australia. USC researchers have liaised with producers to grow it on Australian ground, as well as chefs to create more products with seaweed as a main ingredient.

Source: The Age