Although approaching its wind-up phase, the Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork had another very productive year in 2016/17, in terms of research outcomes and raising the capability of researchers supporting the industry, including industry itself taking on employees through the Pork CRC’s acclaimed industry placement program.
In his 2016/17 Chairman’s report, released to Pork CRC participants at its annual Stakeholders’ Day in Melbourne on November 18 2017, Dennis Mutton acknowledged the importance of not only having great research outcomes, but also the capacity to put results into practice along the value chain was critical to success.
“With ongoing planning in place, this situation should not and will not be compromised as the industry continues to face productivity and sustainability challenges in a market environment with strong competition from other domestic protein producers and also from imported product,” he said.
“It is very important that research and innovation effort does not tail off as we come to the end of the term of the CRC. We have just completed contractual arrangements for the last significant investment call and projects have commenced.”
These projects, which will run for up to 15 months, need to be completed by September 30, 2018, to allow for the timely wind-up of the CRC in June 2019.
Mr Mutton explained that there would still be opportunities for short term innovation projects to be funded and conducted during this same period.
“The message is that we don’t want to miss opportunities to deliver solutions for the pork industry and plan B is alive and well developed.
“The organisation which fostered the formation of the first Pork CRC, Australasian Pork Research Institute Ltd (APRIL), has been rejuvenated as the mechanism to carry on a significant investment of funds to deliver high priority research outcomes.
“Industry’s hunger for answers to their challenges has not abated and APRIL will be in a position to complement work funded by Australian Pork Limited to deliver more for the benefit of industry,” Mr Mutton said.
The first call for projects via APRIL will be early in 2018, with the objective of commissioning research by the middle of 2018.
Basically 12 months before the close of Pork CRC operations, this ensures the continuity of the current level of research and support opportunities for relevant researchers during the wind-down.
“During this period, Pork CRC and its Program Leaders will work to finalise research projects and disseminate the results to industry,” Mr Mutton said.
In his 2016/17 report to participants and stakeholders, Pork CRC CEO, Roger Campbell said research in all four programs remained active, with some potentially system changing projects underway.
“I think the active projects across the programs are as exciting as I’ve seen in the past ten years,” Dr Campbell said.
“Our researchers and students understand the needs of Pork CRC and the industry.
“They continue to challenge how we do business and without their ideas and dedication to research, the progress we’ve made in differentiating the industry and developing High Integrity Australian Pork would not have been achieved,” Dr Campbell concluded.
More from Pork CRC.
Image: Pork CRC Chairman Dennis Mutton delivers Pork CRC’s 2016/17 results at its 2017 Stakeholders’ Day in Melbourne.