Mogumber piggery primed for profits

Rueben HaleCountryman
A group of gestating sows in a group housing system on straw automatically fed by an electronic sow feeding machine. The group of about 50 animals per pen represents a week of production. The company has found that the pregnant sows remain very happy and relaxed in this enviroment. Pictured with the sows is Craig Mostyn Farms senior manager Jorge Chorrez.
Camera IconA group of gestating sows in a group housing system on straw automatically fed by an electronic sow feeding machine. The group of about 50 animals per pen represents a week of production. The company has found that the pregnant sows remain very happy and relaxed in this enviroment. Pictured with the sows is Craig Mostyn Farms senior manager Jorge Chorrez. Credit: Rueben Hale

The Craig Mostyn Group-owned Linley Valley Pork is focused on expanding its low-cost and high-value product to respond to increasing world demand.

The company’s flagship Mogumber site, which produces 1000 pigs ready for slaughter a week, is about a month away from completing the final sheds at its $20 million state-of-the-art facility.

Craig Mostyn Farms operates a chain of piggeries and breeding units throughout WA that supply Linley Valley Pork.

CMF senior manager Jorge Chorrez said the company’s first integrated farm model at the site was able to produce a low-cost animal that was raised with high health and welfare standards.

“The pigs are fed on a nutritious diet of WA grains, such as barley, wheat and lupins, which is specifically formulated to meet the pigs’ nutritional requirements,” he said.

“A feature of the facility is that it produces a pig ready for slaughter in under 22 weeks.

“Also, the sheds are all fitted with state-of-the-art temperature controls to make their occupants feel comfortable.”

Mr Chorrez said genetics had been a major key to CM Farms’ success.

“We are one of the two largest pig-meat producers in WA and we have been working hard to produce more value for our customers by increasing the length of our pigs,” he said.

“Pork belly has become a valuable cut of meat, with increased demand for the product coming from cooking shows and supermarkets, generating interest in non-traditional ways of consuming pork which are resonating with consumers.

“About six years ago CMG invested in South Australian Myora genetics so it could breed pigs with two extra ribs, giving the carcase a longer length and more value from the rib cuts for the abattoir.

“We knew that if we bred for animals with more ribs and more lumbar vertebrae, we could change the percentage of meat yielded.”

Mr Chorrez said the group had taken the “long view” for the WA pork industry, with millions of dollars of investment in the past five years across all our piggery operations”.

“The good market at the moment has not been a factor in the decision by the company to invest,” he said.

“The pig industry is not one that you can make your business decisions based upon factors in the short term. You have to take the longer view, otherwise you will not be in the business for very long.”

CMG chief executive Mark Wray said WA’s pig farming and pork industry had experienced some tough conditions over the past five years, but strong meat prices in the past 18 months had produced a level of confidence for the group to further expand the site.

“Pork has benefited from higher meat prices generally and, in particular, the flow-on of high beef prices,” he said.

“There is a definite appetite within the group to increase the current capacity, but we’ve got to be absolutely satisfied the market demand is robust enough before we make any plans concrete.”

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