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APL prioritising Aussie smallgoods growth

Australian pork producers are uniquely placed to leverage renewed consumer support for ‘Australian Made’ products.

APL is working to ensure that Australian pork, which unlike many other agricultural sectors competes with large volumes of imported product, promotes the home-grown message and, in turn, helps generate regional business activity to help revive the national economy.

Typically, $17 million worth of imported pork, about 4000 tonnes, arrives in Australia each week to be heat-treated, processed and sold in competition with smallgoods made with Australian pork.

The availability of surplus Australian pigmeat due to COVID-19 supply chain disruptions has provided the opportunity for local smallgoods producers to access more Australian pork for their ham, bacon and other products.

APL is prioritising this growth opportunity while there is critical market alignment across the supply chain. Building a greater foothold in smallgoods categories is something that enjoys significant support from supermarkets and other retailers and the foodservice industry, because they know their customers prefer bacon, ham and other cured products made from Australian pork.

The wider uptake of country-of-origin labelling and greater product transparency for consumers are goals our producers share with the rest of Australian agriculture and the Federal Government. We welcome Agriculture Minister David Littleproud’s leadership in this respect and commend his work in encouraging major fast food franchises to embrace country-of-origin labelling. Recent confirmation that McDonald’s will introduce country-of-origin labelling is a crucial breakthrough and we will continue to encourage other franchises to follow suit.

Effective labelling empowers consumers and will help add momentum to our efforts to increase the use of Australian pork in smallgoods. This, in turn, will give supply chain businesses the chance to demonstrate to customers genuine support for quality Australian pork producers – something which is an increasingly compelling marketing edge.

Encouraging results arose from the trial APL launched in Adelaide in February to raise consumer awareness about the fact the majority of ham and bacon in Australia is made from imported pork. Based on this, and as new opportunities arise to tap into changing consumer sentiment in a post COVID-19 market, we plan to resume the campaign in 2021.

As we emerge from COVID-19 shutdowns and set about rebuilding the national economy, support for Australian produce and agricultural supply chains will be critical. The post farmgate roles which help add-value to our produce, such as regional processing jobs, can be supported at the check-out by buying local.

It’s important all consumers – and that includes farmers – be mindful of selecting Australian produce when they are grocery shopping. Yes, look for ham and bacon made using Australian pork, but keep in mind the need to support other Australian food industries like seafood and horticulture which also face stiff competition from imports.

Editorial by APL CEO, Margo Andrae, for Australian Pork Newspaper

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Australian Pork Limited

The producer owned organisation supporting and promoting the Australian pork industry. Australian Pork Limited (APL) is caring for the future of Australian pork.