Barely 30% of the pork products we buy in Australia are made here.
Australian Pork Limited CEO Margo Andrae said consumers were unaware that most bacon and other small goods were made from imported meat.
“About 70 per cent of the ham and bacon on the shelves is actually made using imported pork,” she said.
So only 30 per cent of it is actually utilising Australian home-grown pork and supporting Aussie pork producers but 76 per cent of consumers surveyed didn’t realise.
Ms Andrae said people were disappointed such a large percentage of ham and bacon was made using imported ingredients.
85 per cent of people surveyed said if they’d realised they just needed to pay a little bit more to buy Australian.
Most of the pork imported into Australia is from the United States or Europe where the pork is cheaper.
In total, about 3.35 million kilograms of pork, worth approximately $13.8 million, is imported every week, according to Australian Pork Limited.
Australian Pork is lobbying for clearer labelling to help customers differentiate between local and imported products.
“Most people believe when they see the green triangle with the yellow kangaroo that they’re buying Australian, but consumers actually need to read the bar chart underneath,” Ms Andrae said.
The key to buying Australian is to check the labelling for Australian content.
All fresh pork in Australia is home-grown including products like roasts, chops or loin cuts.
“If it’s got a bone, it’s one of our own.” is the Australian Pork motto backed by the pink Australian Pork logo.
Only 10 per cent of Australia’s pork is exported to Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Japan but we have been importing pork, probably because of price.
But African Swine Fever (ASF) spreading through countries like China was changing the game along with consumer sentiment to buy local.
“There has been a massive change to pork protein globally with about 30 per cent gone due to that terrible virus, so we’re seeing the price slightly change,” Ms Andrae said.