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Butchers Onboard Promoting Aussie Pork

by 5m Editor
31 March 2009, at 10:09am

AUSTRALIA - From 10 April 2009, butchers across Australia will help consumers more clearly identify home-grown, fresh Australian pork.

Consumer research shows that 33 per cent of Australians mistakenly believe fresh pork can be imported, when by law, all fresh pork is Australian. Australian Pork Limited (APL) has produced distinctive pink "Australian Pork" meat tickets for butchers to display, helping customers easily identify fresh pork as having been bred and grown in Australia. Currently, the tickets are only for use with fresh Australian pork, and not with smallgoods.

APL Chief Executive Officer Andrew Spencer said the meat ticketing program is an important step forward for Australian pig farmers, who have been pushing for clearer labelling on Australian grown pork products.

“Unfortunately, many consumers aren't aware that all fresh pork sold in Australia is Australian grown. The introduction of the Australian Pork meat tickets into butchers will drive that message home.”

Mr Spencer said recent consumer research conducted by APL indicated that Australian provenance is a significant selling point for consumers – 87 per cent of Australians prefer to buy Australian, with 85 per cent suggesting they would be prepared to pay a 20 per cent premium.

“Not many consumers know that over 70 per cent of Australia's processed pork products (ham, bacon and small goods) have been produced from cheap subsidised imported pork from markets like Denmark, Canada and the US.

Mr Spencer said the one thing that needs addressing is labelling of the country's pork products. Under the current labelling system, consumers have no idea of the country of origin of pork and pork products. This new meat ticketing initiative is an important way for butchers and their customers to support the Australian pork farmers.

“It is a common sense initiative to clearly articulate to consumers what is and what isn‟t Australian grown pork. The current labelling system is very confusing and not informative from a consumer perspective.

“There are currently three label claims used to describe the origin of pork products. These are: Product of Australia, which is Australian grown; Made in Australia, which can be grown and processed in Australia but potentially contains imported meat; and Made from Imported and Local Ingredients, which is in all likelihood predominately imported pork.”

Mr Spencer said the next step in garnering support for Australian pig farmers is to licence the Australian Pork logo to businesses manufacturing smallgoods containing 100 per cent Australian pork. When finalised, this licensing program will enable certified companies to use the Australian Pork logo on their smallgoods which contain 100 per cent Australian pork.