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Pork supply secure, call to support foodservice trade
Australia’s pork industry is well placed to continue to meet customer demand in the coming weeks, despite the market disruptions caused by COVID-19.
Australian Pork Limited CEO, Margo Andrae, said while the restaurant trade was experiencing a sharp downturn, producers were meeting increased demand at supermarkets and butchers.
“Pork plays a significant role in meeting our national food needs. On average each Australian eats more than 10 kilograms of fresh, locally produced pork every year,” Ms Andrae said.
“Despite the uncertainties of COVID-19, Australians can be confident about the farm sector’s supply of fresh produce, including locally grown Australian pork, to the market.”
Ms Andrae said pork was now the second highest consumed protein in Australia.
“Australian pork isn’t just a very affordable and versatile meat, it contributes $5.3 billion to Australia’s GDP every year,” she said.
“Now more than ever it’s so important that consumers look to buy Australian pork, ham and bacon to support the 35,000 people employed across the country in our industry, representing the livelihoods of thousands of Australian families in regional communities.”
Ms Andrae said APL was working with the Federal Government and other industries to minimise potential disruptions in the supply chain, including processing and transport.
“Our priorities are to protect the health and safety of our staff and customers, and to ensure a consistent supply of high quality and nutritious Australian pork,” Ms Andrae said.
“Australian processors have a combined weekly throughput of 100,000 pigs. They are doing everything possible to uphold employee wellbeing to keep their businesses operating.
“Our entire supply chain, including processors, will continue to navigate the challenges posed by COVID-19 and respond as circumstances evolve, in line with expert advice.”
Ms Andrae said the outlook for pork prices was unclear following a recent dip of about 5 per cent, or 30 cents a kilogram wholesale price.
“The foodservice trade, representing about 25% of our sales, is experiencing a devastating downturn of up to 90%. That drop is having an impact on pork prices,” Ms Andrae said.
“Asian restaurants, where pork is an important part of the cuisine, have evidently been hit the hardest and it’s clear the viability of many foodservice businesses is on the line.
“I encourage consumers to support foodservice businesses during this critical time. Home delivery services are a great way to support your favourite restaurants, even if you’re eating at home. That support is just so important for these businesses and their employees.
“Producers are playing their part by staying focused on supplying high quality, locally grown pork which adds so much economic value to retail and food service supply chains. Consumer support for the retail and hospitality businesses selling Australian pork is something we can all keep in mind during these extraordinary times.”
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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.