While Europe is facing a white Christmas, Australian pork farmers are urging Australians to enjoy a pink one. They are saying consumers should look for the hot pink Australian PorkMark label that guarantees that ham is made from 100 per cent Australian pork.
Australian Pork Limited (APL) CEO Andrew Spencer said “Over 70 per cent of ham and bacon consumed in Australia is sourced from pork imported from countries that subsidise their agricultural production and will in the future continue to use gestation stalls. Because of the ineffective, ambiguous labelling laws in Australia, Australian consumers have no way of telling what is grown in Australia and what comes from overseas.”
“Once the imported meat is processed here, it is then sold to Australian consumers under two labels – ‘Made in Australia’ and ‘Made in Australia from Imported and Local ingredients’. How are consumers expected to make a considered purchasing decision from those two labelling categories, if they wish to buy Australian grown? The reality is you can’t.”
More than $10 million worth of pork imports from Canada, the US and Denmark, which equates to over 2.6 million kilograms of frozen pork, arrives by boat in Australia EVERY WEEK destined for ham and bacon production.
To counteract the ambiguity around labelling of ham and bacon, APL developed the pink Australian PorkMark program in late 2008. There are currently 279 butchers, wholesalers and processors licensed with APL to use the Australian PorkMark logo on their packaging.
In research conducted by APL in October this year, it was found one in four Australians have purchased Australian pork sporting the hot pink Australian PorkMark logo on the packaging. The research also indicated that Australians preferred to buy Australian, in part to support Australian farmers, but also because they believe Australian grown produce to be fresher, safer and of a higher quality.
The tips for buying Australian grown pork are simple:
• For Christmas ham, look for the Australian PorkMark or for ham on the bone. If it has a bone it is guaranteed to be Australian grown;
• For boneless ham - look for the bright pink Australian PorkMark, that is a guarantee the pork in the package is Australian grown; or
• Look for ’Product of Australia’ labelling that also guarantees it is Australian grown; and
• All fresh pork for that Christmas roast with crackling is Australian grown.