Foodbank teams up with Aussie Pork
Amid the social and economic disruptions caused by COVID-19 in recent months, Australia’s pork industry has been working with the country’s leading food relief organisation, Foodbank Australia, to support Australians struggling to put food on the table.
In a collaboration involving the Federal Government and Australian Pork Limited (APL), Foodbank Australia’s provision of protein to members of the community in need has been boosted by weekly deliveries from several pork wholesalers across the country.
More than a quarter of Australian pork is usually consumed in foodservice outlets, so when restaurants, pubs and clubs across the country were forced to close their doors earlier in the year, alternative markets had to be found.
APL CEO Margo Andrae says that while the rise in homemade meals has increased pork sales at butchers and supermarkets, the supply chain has still been under pressure in adjusting to COVID-19 restrictions.
“Even with retail sale increases, we were looking at ways to take pressure off of our processors and wholesalers to ensure the market stayed as stable as possible and producers had some certainty,” she says.
APL approached the Federal Government to talk about ways they could turn a challenge into a positive, because while there was a surplus of product, there were also lots of people facing food insecurity. Emergency relief funding made available to Foodbank by Federal Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston enabled the initiative to commence.
“Wholesalers Linley Valley Pork (WA), Holco (SA), Global Meats (Vic) Mastercut Meats (NSW) and Top Cut (Qld) have been pivotal in this initiative, providing pork to Foodbank at a significant discount to ensure the funding can be stretched as far as possible,” Andrae says.
“We’re proud of the role our industry is playing in providing food security for those in need, but we’re also grateful to Foodbank – weekly supply arrangements have given processors and wholesalers added operational certainty for their businesses and employees.”
Pork provided to Foodbank has included sausages, roasts, mince and chops, totalling 23,685kg of made-to-order pork products over a three-and-a-half-month period. Based on this success, APL and industry are looking at ways to continue working with Foodbank.
Foodbank Australia National Program Manager – Agriculture Jacqui Payne explains how significant this supply has been to the Foodbank network and to food relief recipients.
“We’re so grateful to Australian Pork Limited and all the local wholesalers who have supported Foodbank through this period,” she says. “Having a regular, reliable supply of a high-demand protein product such as pork takes the ‘surprise’ out of our supply chain and goes a long way in helping us end hunger in Australia.”
Melissa Parker from Mastercut Meats says the wholesaler, which has been supplying pork for distribution in NSW and the ACT, is keen to continue supporting Foodbank.
“As a family business, we’re always looking for ways to give back to the community,” she says. “This has been a fantastic opportunity to support Foodbank with supplies of premium Australian pork, helping those in need during this time of crisis, and also supporting our supply chain, our employees and Australian pork producers.”
Foodbank couldn’t exist without the help of supporters, donors and volunteers. Find out how you can get involved by visiting foodbank.org.au