THE recent nationwide celebration of Ham Week 2011 highlighted not only the quality of Australian produced ham, but also the importance of retail availability of 100 per cent homegrown pork meat throughout Australia.
Every week 2,600 tonnes of subsidised, foreign pig meat worth around $10 million dollars arrives on Australian docks from the US, Canada, and Denmark, destined for local ham, bacon and smallgoods markets.
Most Australians agree that when it comes to produce, Aussie is best. Being ‘girt by sea’ with strict quarantine laws means that homegrown is fresh, healthy and safely grown.
Australia’s labelling laws make it confusing for consumers to make a simple informed purchasing decision to identify 100 per cent Aussie ham.
Australia’s pig farmers have responded with their own label; the Australian PorkMark label. This hot pink, fail-safe identification allows consumers to easily identify products made from 100 per cent Australian pork, produced in line with Australian on-farm practices.
“Our research shows that 95 per cent of consumers want to ‘buy Australian’ if they can identify it. Current labelling for ham and other smallgoods products can be misleading, or at the least, confusing,” says Andrew Spencer, CEO of Australian Pork Limited, the nation’s representative body for pork producers.
“For example ‘Made in Australia’ does not mean the product is made from Australian grown pork, only that it has been manufactured here. But the pink PorkMark clearly distinguishes the pork as being made from Australian pork – from God’s country, not God
To date, there are over 318 butchers and smallgoods producers licensed to carry the Australian PorkMark on their Australian grown pork products.
Since the inception of Australian Ham Week in 2010, the number of licensees nationwide has increased by almost 40 per cent, indicating the growing push from the Australian public to buy local.