Piggery industry standards and quality assurance

The Australian pork industry is subject to controls and standards:

Quality assurance helps you:

  • manage hazards in the production process
  • show customers that systems are in place to make a consistent product.

Having an approved on-farm quality assurance program is important for pork producers to maintain access to export and domestic markets.

Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service

The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) requires exporters to verify that their pork and pork products meet food safety requirements of the domestic and importing country.

Pork producers can meet these requirements by:

Australian Pork Industry Quality Assurance Programs (APIQ)

The Australian Pork Industry Quality Assurance Programs (APIQ) helps pig farmers and pork producers demonstrate how they meet production standards required by customers, consumers and regulators.

APIQ is a recognised Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) based program that provides food safety assurance to pigs destined for domestic and international markets.

APIQ certifies production systems against standards covering:

  • indoor (IN), all pigs housed
  • free range (FR), all pigs are run in paddocks
  • outdoor bred raised indoors on straw (OB), breeding sows are run in paddocks but the progeny are housed on straw following weaning
  • gestation stall free (GSF).

The APIQ standards cover:

  • management
  • food safety
  • animal welfare
  • bio-security
  • traceability
  • environment
  • transport.

APIQ requires pig farmers to have control and management systems for:

  • property description and production methods
  • food safety - sourcing feed and bedding
  • chemical and drug identification - including withholding period and export slaughter interval
  • staff training - staff must be competent or working under the direction of a biosecurity person - movement of people, pigs and transport
  • animal welfare practices must meet the model codes for the Welfare of Animals - Pigs 3rd edition
  • traceability of pig movements and identification
  • documented records
  • annual independent third party inspections and audits.

To gain APIQ certification, you must:

  • document standard operating procedures in a Piggery Quality Assurance Management Manual
  • develop a recording system to show how APIQ standards are consistently met.

Piggery management manual

A Piggery Quality Assurance Management Manual should contain:

  • overview of the piggery, how it is managed and its objectives
  • standard operation procedures or work instructions and records
  • a food safety plan based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) food safety system.

Quality assurance programs

  • PigPass QA - a simplified food safety program required to gain a PigPass NVD
  • ISO 9000 - a series of international standards for quality management developed by the International Standards Organisation
  • SQF 1000 - international standards for safe food production for primary producers
  • RSPCA Australia – Approved Farming Scheme program
  • Australian Certified Organic – Operated by ACO certification Ltd