Pork pitches in as foodservice restarts

5th June 2020 | Eativity editors

The Australian pork industry has once again extended a helping trotter to the hospitality industry, which has been through some rough times in the past few months.

Throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, the industry worked to support hospitality workers via Hospo4Hopso, an initiative that saw Australian pig farmers and the pork industry partner with restaurants to deliver free pork meals for hospitality workers, many of whom lost their jobs after COVID-19 measures forced restaurants, pubs and clubs to close their doors.

Now that restaurants are reopening, the Australian pork industry is doing what every organisation worth their salt has been doing lately – they’ve pivoted. The industry initiative will now provide free pork to venues as they reopen. This new phase of the program recognises that the hospitality landscape is changing, and that while restaurants are reopening, it will be tough for many while restrictions remain.

Bloodwood co-owner and head chef Claire Van Vuuren prepares Hospo4Hospo meals at her Sydney restaurant.

Australian Pork Limited CEO Margo Andrae says that, while COVID-19 restrictions are easing, the foodservice sector has had a tough few months and recovery will take time.

“Venues have been pleased to welcome back diners as restrictions ease, state by state, but while this is welcome news for hungry Aussies who had missed dining out, the reality is still challenging for many outlets and their staff,” she says.

“The Australian pork industry initiated Hospo4Hospo to give back to an industry that has supported us through good times and bad and it was well received. However, as staff get back to work, it’s now important to support venues as they get back up and running.”

Through its foodservice programs, Australian Pork Limited will be working with restaurants around the country to provide delicious pork for them to serve to their diners.

This move secures the future of Hospo4Hospo for a further 10 weeks, with venues supported to add pork cuts to their menus, including ribs and bellies.

Free pork is good for the piggy bank.

“This initiative is a win-win in a difficult time,” Andrae says. “For the restaurants, it’s free product, which helps their bottom line as they continue to respond to governments’ changing restrictions and a very different market.

“For the Australian pork industry, foodservice represents about 25% of sales, and this initiative supports restaurants as they reopen and helps ensure pork is on menus.”

The Australian pork industry employs 35,000 people and supply continued during COVID-19 disruption. When foodservice restrictions were enacted, the supply chain was disrupted and farmgate prices weakened, but this has shown signs of stabilising. Australian Pork’s foodservice programs have provided resources, support and advice to industry friends and partners throughout the COVID-19 period. This will continue as the industry recovers.

Got a hankering for some pork after reading all that? Head to pork.com.au for recipe ideas.