Multinational livestock processors, JBS Australia and Kilcoy Global Foods, have moved to allay fears small to medium producers will be shut out, as a result of planned acquisitions of abattoirs in NSW and Victoria.
Pig producers are concerned at the loss of slaughter facilities at Diamond Valley Pork, Laverton - a company 80 per cent owned by Rivalea, which is subject to a takeover bid by JBS.
And the announcement of the acquisition of Hardwicks' Kyneton plant, by Kilcoy Global Foods, has also rung alarm bells with paddock-to-plate producers.
JBS has told a peak small-producers body Diamond Valley Pork was set up as a "service kill" facility.
Members of pastured-livestock and poultry producers' peak body the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance met with JBS chief executive Brent Eastwood and head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs head John Berry, to express their concerns.
Mr Eastwood and Mr Berry told the AFSA delegation, if the acquisition of Rivalea went ahead, the company would continue to provide a service kill arrangement, "under commercial arrangements at DVP and this should provide comfort to existing customers."
Kilcoy Global Foods Australian President Jiah Falcke said there were no plans to cease sourcing livestock from smaller producers, at Hardwicks Kyneton operation, which they had recently acquired.
"We can't comment on what has happened in the past as we were not involved in the business," Mr Falcke said.
"Kilcoy Global Foods intends to leverage the strengths of both companies to expand opportunities for the Australian Livestock industry, from production through to processing and distribution."
AFSA president Tammi Jonas said it was a "very positive outcome" that JBS had confirmed, in the short term, that it had no interest in stopping "service kills" for small scale producers.
"They said that's long been the model for Diamond Valley and they have no reason to change it," Ms Jonas said.
"We can have that confidence for that first year, after that it's a matter for JBS - they will decide whether that business model works for them, or not.
"They may decide to supply their own abattoir, with their own pigs."
But Ms Jonas said it underpinned the move to the establishment of micro-abattoirs
She said the plan was to set up works that could process up to 1000 animals a year, at sites every 50-100 kilometres apart.
"We need to redistribute risk, across the system, instead of letting it be housed in one or two abattoirs," Ms Jonas said.
"AFSA's small-scale pastured pig farmer members in Victoria would be dramatically affected if there was a loss of service kills at Diamond Valley Pork, as there are few remaining abattoirs left in the state for small-and medium-scale farmers."
Former Victorian Farmers Federation Pig Group president John Bourke, said he was concerned about a processing monopoly.
"It's all about squeezing the little fella out of the business," Mr Bourke said.
"Small producers employ a lot of people and country towns survive on the amount of staff we employ." Mr Bourke said.
He has a 500 sow operation at Stanhope, near Shepparton.
"I used to sell pigs through Hurstbridge, that closed and the owner (Alan Bittisnich) went into partnership with Rivalea to build Diamond Valley Pork."
DVP can process 13,500 pigs per week with capability to supply a range and variety of carcasses to exact buyer specifications.
Mr Bourke said DVP needed to be brought back into Australian hands, with at least 51 per cent local ownership.
He said Rivalea didn't import pork, but JBS had shown "no aggression in the market" to buy local product.
"They have had Primo for five years and the imports are still chugging along," Mr Bourke said.
"Rivalea have always been fair to the small producers, they have realised there is a place for the small producer in Australia."
He said JBS already owned the Port Wakefield plant in SA, which did contract kills, but adding Diamond Valley Pork to its processing capacity was "a different story.
"Once they have these pigs from Rivalea, do they choke the little fella out? Human nature says they will," Mr Bourke said.
The ACCC has launched a formal inquiry, over the proposed JBS acquisition, seeking submissions outlining the impact on competition, in particular the potential impact on pricing for pigs, access to slaughter services, and the production of fresh and value-added pork and smallgoods.
AFSA has also contacted KGF.