Where is your ham and bacon from?
Ham and bacon are items you’ll find in most people’s fridges. But these same people would probably be gobsmacked to learn the meat they’re consuming isn’t Australian. In fact, the majority of the ham and bacon sold in Australia is made from imported pork. While all fresh pork is proudly Australian, many smallgoods products are often made using imported pork.
“Aussies love their ham and bacon, but most people are unaware that the majority of ham and bacon sold in Australia is made from imported pork,” says Margo Andrae, CEO of Australian Pork Limited. “The Australian pork industry produces delicious ham and bacon while contributing $5.3 billion to Australia’s GDP and directly employing 35,000 people. That’s the livelihoods of thousands of Australian families.”
Each week $17 million worth of imported pork – or around 4 million kilograms – arrives on our shores to be heat-treated and processed. This impacts Australian pig farmers, many of whom have had a tough few years with drought, high grain prices and low farmgate prices.
Look for the label
Australian Pork is asking people to look at the label when picking bacon for brekkie or ham for lunch. Ham on the bone must be Australian. However, if you’re buying sliced ham or bacon products, you need to look at the Country of Origin bar chart. This sits under the green and gold kangaroo. The bar chart should be almost full or have a percentage of at least 90% Australian ingredients to guarantee the pork is Australian.
Country of Origin labelling is a legal requirement and is on products in both the chiller and the deli. The green and gold kangaroo on the pack doesn’t mean the product uses Australian pork; it only signifies the product was made in Australia.
“Australian pork can get to your fork from the farmgate in just days,” Andrae says. “This is compared to weeks or even months with imported pork. To ensure you’re buying pork products made with Australian pork and supporting Australian farmers, check the bar chart on the Country of Origin label. It should show at least 90 percent Australian ingredients.”