PULLING TOGETHER: James Bredhauer from Aussie Land and Livestock.
PULLING TOGETHER: James Bredhauer from Aussie Land and Livestock. Helen Spelitis

SWICKERS FIRE: Pork industry clears backlog

PORK producers and freight companies have pulled together to prevent a processing backlog following the fire at Swickers on Sunday.

James Bredhauer from Aussie Pork Supplies said virtually every processor in Queensland and New South Wales that had spare capacity had put their hand up to help SunPork.

"We've just moved all our pigs up to Biggenden and Esk," Mr Bredhauer said.

"I know there are some pigs going down to Beaudesert and extra pigs have gone to Jimbour as well."

Pigs have also been sent to Casino, Frederickton and down to South Australia.

While some of the pigs have been held on farm, this was mainly a result of organising and waiting for trucks.

"Anywhere they can process pigs they're taking them," Mr Bredhauer said.

"Everyone in the industry is chipping in to help them rolling."

Inevitably there has been some stockpiling.

Even with processors taking on extra pigs they haven't reached the capacity that Swickers would have handled this week.

But Mr Bredhauer said there was no chance producers would need to look at culling their sounders.

"We're weeks away from that," Mr Bredhauer said.

"Swickers has started back running and I've got pigs booked for next week; they're not for export but at least we're getting them out of the system.

"They've done a great job of moving pigs around and allowing the smaller guys around the area to keep their pigs being processed at the works here."

At this stage the cost of shipping pigs to these alternate sites has been carried by both the producers and the wholesalers.

"There's extra freight costs and for producers there might be costs because some of the pigs get too heavy because they grow the best at the end of their cycles and there's extra processing costs," Mr Bredhauer said.

"But that's a two-way street, the cost will be worn by both sides."