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Key Messages from Ideas Exchange 2012

12 October 2012, at 9:27am

AUSTRALIA - Ideas Exchange 2012 was held between 23-25 September on the Gold Coast and covered 26 presentations in four sessions, focussing on tackling industry challenges presented to scientists or scientific solutions delivered to industry.

A number of key topics were discussed. The overarching question was, how will the Australian poultry industry, which is a major contributor to Australia’s food basket (43kg meat and 213 eggs per capita), be able to continually improve productivity in the face of an increasing regulatory burden, political and public pressure on animal welfare and food safety, extreme weather events affecting feed supply and price, shortage of skilled labour force, and access to credible information?

To elaborate on the regulatory burden issue first, a new “National Primary Production and Processing Standard for Poultry Meat (Standard 4.2.2)” has recently been introduced, which, in some states, will require all poultry producers to be registered and licensed in order to continue to farm. You can find details about this standard at the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.

There is also a new National Land Transport Standard to be implemented in the near future. Its details can be found at the Australian government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website.

On the issue of extreme weather events, the recent droughts in the USA have led to massive increases in the cost of feed ingredients, pushing up the price of a tonne of feed by more than one hundred Australian dollars. Furthermore, the current lack of spring rain in Australia is also creating a great deal of uncertainty about the amount of grain available for feed use from the end of this year into 2013.