The Craig Mostyn Group has hailed a $10 million expansion as the biggest single investment in a piggery in Australia for the past 30 years.
The move to double production at its Mogumber farm from 500 to 1000 pigs a week comes as CMG eyes new export markets, including China.
CMG executive director Andrew Mostyn said the staged increase in production was built around high standards in animal welfare, including the introduction of farrowing pens, designed in Britain, which allow sows much more room to move.
"We are very confident the industry is going forward, both the domestic and export markets," Mr Mostyn said yesterday after Agriculture Minister Ken Baston opened the new facilities at Mogumber.
"And we believe other export markets will open up. Even though they are not there now, they will come. We saw five years ago that we needed to be looking at controlled expansion."
CMG is the biggest processor of pork in WA through its Linley Valley operations and is set to become the biggest producer through the Mogumber expansion. It also owns and operates farms at Gingin, Albany, Narrogin and Nambeelup to make up about 5 per cent of Australia's annual production of 362,000 tonnes of pig meat.
CMG exports about 30 per cent of its pork to Singapore where demand is growing strongly.
Mr Mostyn also believes it is just a matter of time before the Chinese market opens up.
"At some point - even though they are the largest producer of pork in the world by a long way - good quality product from Australia will find its way into that market, into the five-star restaurants, into the top end of the market," he said. "They have an appetite for paying for the very best that can be bought so I'm confident that in the near future we will have pork going into China."
CMG is also moving quickly to add to its stable of diversified agribusinesses after being pipped at the post by Andrew Forrest in the race for Harvey Beef.
The board met yesterday to discuss an acquisition outside the pork and beef industries.
The tunnel-ventilated sheds equipped with 360-degree farrowing pens at Mogumber are the first of their kind in Australia. The sheds are also sow stall-free.
Mr Mostyn said the animal welfare investment was in line with the growing expectations of retailers and consumers.
"We are way ahead of the curve on animal welfare and will stay there because we want to look after the animals as they should be looked after," he said