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Australia’s Pork Industry Gets a Boost

by 5m Editor
1 June 2009, at 9:30am

AUSTRALIA - The recent announcement by the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke, to fund product information and labelling projects for Australia’s pork industry has been roundly applauded by Australian Pork Limited (APL).

The national pork producer representative body CEO - Andrew Spencer - said, the announcement by the government of funding of up to $535,000 was really welcome news for the industry.

“This money is part of the Promoting Australian Produce Program to develop Australia’s competitive advantage in food production.

“In the pork industry’s case $410,000 will be ear marked for identifying the most effective ways to promote Australian pork products to shoppers who often are unable to notice our products in-store. A further $125,000 will go towards building the scheme for use of an Australian Pork branding device for qualifying pork products including Australian grown hams, bacon and other smallgoods products.”

Mr Spencer said that APL is grateful to now have the funds available that will better assist the industry more readily differentiate and more clearly identify Australian grown pork from our overseas competitors. Despite the growth in fresh pork sales, Australian pork's share of processed pork products (hams and bacons etc.) has decreased due to the record level of subsidised imports entering the market.

“Over the last ten years imports of frozen boneless pork meat (mainly from Denmark, the US and Canada) have risen from 10,000 to 127,500 tonnes per annum ($493 million). This growth has been based on a combination of subsidies/marginal pricing in the exporting countries and attractive exchange rates. APL estimates that more than 70 per cent of processed pork products are produced from imported meat”.

“The net effect of this is that the Australian pork industry's still significant $1.2 billion value at farm gate has the potential to grow in both fresh and processed markets, by improving industry competitiveness. The Promoting Australian Produce Program certainly assists in underpinning the industry’s drive towards achieving such a goal” Mr Spencer said.