Best Practices

Sustainable farming implementing 'Best Practice'

Sustainable Farming using 'Best Practice'

At NZPork, we provide our farmers with ongoing support to ensure they have access to the latest knowledge to facilitate well managed environmental practices, as well as high standards of animal welfare management.

Our work goes hand-in-hand with our national and regional involvement to ensure sound policy development, and a better understanding of our unique industry.

From time to time, NZPork publishes guidelines, regulation updates and manuals to support  best practice on-farm.

Animal welfare

Our PigCare™ welfare assurance programme illustrates the importance New Zealand pig farmers place on providing high standards of welfare for their pigs.

In New Zealand, animal welfare is governed by the Animal Act 1999, which places a duty of care on all animal owners and persons in charge of animals. Codes of welfare provide further details in regard to particular species (e.g. Pigs) and functions (e.g. Transport). In 2015, the Animal Welfare Act was amended to provide for the issue of regulations. NZPork was actively engaged in this process to develop regulations.

The Ministry for Primary Industries is responsible for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act.

PigCare™ auditors must report any serious animal welfare breach to MPI. MPI has a process for investigating and remedying the issue(s).

You can ensure the New Zealand pork industry maintains good animal welfare standards for pigs by choosing pork products that carry the New Zealand pork Born and Raised in New Zealand and PigCare™ label.

Animal health

The New Zealand pig herd has one of the highest health statuses in the world. This means pigs born and raised in New Zealand are not exposed to a number of very severe and debilitating pests and diseases suffered by pigs in most other countries.

Our pigs’ high health status has many benefits in terms of animal welfare and productivity, and is highly cherished by our farmers. Our high health status also means that our pigs do not need antibiotics to treat a wide range of diseases that pigs raised in other countries may be affected by.

For New Zealand pigs, management of health and injury is assured via its assessment within the PigCare™ audit.


NZPork has provided guidelines to assist farmers to develop their own individually tailored on-farm biosecurity protocol.

On-farm biosecurity measures are individually tailored to each farm to support its particular health status. Farms that provide breeding stock or genetic material via semen for artificial insemination will be of high health status and  will have stringent biosecurity measures to maintain this.

Given how critically important biosecurity is to the New Zealand pork industry, NZPork actively engages with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to seek the appropriate level of protection for the New Zealand pig herd.

NZPork was the second New Zealand industry, and the first animal-based industry, to enter into a government-industry agreement (GIA) as a partner with MPI with the objective of delivering better biosecurity for the industry.

Environmental management

Each farming style faces different challenges, and we work to ensure our farmers understand compliance requirements regarding nutrient management, water quality, climate change, effluent systems and waste management.

Our Environmental Advisor provides policy advice, including engagement with regional and district environmental planning. Submissions are prepared in consultation with farmers and are submitted on the industry’s behalf.

Nutrient budgets for outdoor piggeries are completed using the outdoor pig module of OVERSEERFM.

NZPork's Farm Environment Plan (FEP) template assists our farmers to meet compliance requirements for their district and regional rules and resource consents, as well as managing environmental risks and issues.

The aim is to support sustainable land management, efficient use of resources, and provide a framework to progress environmental protection and enhancement. Measuring, monitoring and mitigating impacts will have economic, social and environmental benefits.

We ensure that the interests of the industry are represented where environmental issues or regulations are concerned by preserving the right to farm, leadership on environmental stewardship and reducing cost of compliance.

Health & Safety

The wellbeing of our industry and its people is extremely important to us. Our staff are our family, friends and community members, so we must ensure they go home safely every day.

Health and safety regulations are there to look after every member of our industry, whether they be staff, contractors, visitors or family. Also, proper health and safety practices enable our pork producers to remain productive and profitable.

Food Safety and Suitability

NZPork works to support the provision of pig meat that is safe and suitable to consumers in a range of ways.

NZPork facilitates the application of good agricultural practice (GAP) on farm, including to meet all regulatory requirements, and sets industry positions on production practices to enhance consumers’ perception of pork from pigs born and raised in New Zealand. For example, the industry has adopted an agreed position that it does not use added growth hormones, and has put in place a declaration within the regulatory required Animal Status Declaration to confirm this.

NZPork and our farmers are proud that New Zealand pork produced from pigs born and raised in New Zealand tastes good, is safe and suitable to consumers, and is supported by production qualities including our world class animal health, welfare and commitment to environmental sustainability.

For all these reasons we are strong supporters of mandatory Country of Origin labelling for pork, bacon and ham, so that New Zealand consumers are provided with information to differentiate New Zealand produced pork from pork products that are imported or manufactured from import sourced pork.