A word from the CEO
In times of disruption, radical change, and uncertainty, it is so easy to lose perspective by letting fear and emotions dictate our mindset. A golden rule to overcome difficult times is to deal with issues sensibly and realistically, in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.
Although a theoretical approach is necessary to set a standard to create processes and procedures in managing systems, like Pork 360 and compartmentalisation, we need to always remain practical. A member certificate or a few boxes being checked by an official is not a guarantee that the principles of a management system will safeguard us from a virus entering our farms. If the theory is not put into practice, it might all be in vain. Our circle of influence to implement systems on our farms starts with us as farmers, practically living these standards. The theory of systems alone will not give much gain, but the practical implementation of the principles of the management system will. It needs to be the culture of our farms, the way we live when nobody is watching – just the way we are.
With the current outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in South Africa, the focus has shifted from African swine fever (ASF). Realistically, however, the ASF outbreak status is still relevant and very critical in our country. If the basics of biosecurity are practically implemented with discipline, we can reduce the risk of virus infection drastically and win the fight against a fearless but unbiased virus. As farmers, we need to question our daily biosecurity routines and critically evaluate if they practically serve our farms well in the battle against the virus. Although our management system comprises a set standard of rules, every farm must be viewed as unique in infrastructure, management system, and business model. The on-farm practical implementation of each unique production unit is thus the most important tool in winning the battle against disease. Let’s be practical in implementing the theory, let’s farm the future with confidence!
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