THE Victorian Farmer's Federation has sought assurances from JBS Australia that Victorian pig farmers will still have access to the same processing services under its proposed acquisition of Rivalea Holdings.
Our pig industry here in Victoria contributes more than $250 million per year to our economy.
That makes it an important part of the state's agriculture industry and a vital supplier of world class produce, both domestically and across the world.
Rivalea has a key pork processing facility for independent pig growers at Diamond Valley Pork's Laverton site that provides essential processing services to many Victorian pig farmers.
They also have a bio-secure pig production processing facility at Corowa, but this facility does not offer third-party pig for processing.
These are just some of the many reasons why the VFF's Pig Group Committee initiated talks with JBS Australia to ensure they are fully aware of the importance of maintaining the current services, should the acquisition proceed.
In a positive sign for farmers, JBS Australia has assured us they will continue to provide service kill under commercial arrangements at Diamond Valley Pork.
We have also been in contact with the ACCC on the proposed acquisition.
We have asked that they seek similar assurances from JBS to further demonstrate the importance of maintaining the current services.
It's clear this proposed acquisition represents a significant development for our industry.
But the VFF will continue to work for all Victorian pig farmers to ensure any potential acquisition does not impact access to the operations needed to sustain the Victorian pork industry.