Tasmania’s pig farmers are riding a wave of success, with the industry predicted to have a bumper year ahead.
Industry analyst IBISWorld has listed pig farming as one of 2018-19’s strong performers, along with intellectual property leasing, internet publishing and broadcasting, retailer property operation and child care services.
Revenue for Australian pig farmers is expected to grow from $1.11 billion to $1.26 billion, or 13.7 per cent, IBISWorld senior industry analyst Jason Aravanis said.
“Rising health consciousness and continued marketing efforts by Australian Pork Limited are likely to continue driving consumer demand towards fresh pork,” Mr Aravanis said.
“As a result, pig meat consumption is expected to continue growing in 2018-19, as consumers increasingly view fresh pork as a healthy source of protein.”
Oliver Stocker has been farming Wessex Saddleback pigs at Glengarry since 2011, but has focused on it as a serious business for the past four years.
Langdale Farm is set on two hectares in the West Tamar valley, with up to 40 pigs of varying ages and sizes at any one time.
Pork produced is sold between seven or eight providores and a fortnightly stall at Harvest Launceston, Mr Stocker said.
He has noticed demand for high quality pork products has increased in the past two years.
“It’s certainly picked up. We’ve needed two pigs a fortnight to keep up for the past two years. Before then it was one,” he said.
He credits Harvest farmers’ market and mainlanders moving to Tasmania with the increase.
“Harvest made all the difference. We really took off from there.”
When the Stocker family established Langdale Farm there were few boutique pig farms in Tasmania, but that has grown too.
“I know other people are getting into it now. So far it hasn’t affected us,” he said.
Consumers have turned to leaner sources of protein, like fresh pork, with Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences predicting beef, veal and lamb consumption to fall in 2018-19.
“Operators in the pig farming industry are anticipated to increase production in 2018-19 to take advantage of this rising demand, while growing demand for premium fresh pork products is likely to boost the domestic price of pig meat,” Mr Aravanis said.
“IBISWorld also expects that pig meat exports will grow while import volumes will decline in 2018-19, providing a further boost to Australian domestic pig farmers.”