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Kiwi's Eat More Pork

by 5m Editor
30 July 2008, at 9:59am

NEW ZEALAND - Each New Zealander has eaten half a kilogram more of fresh pork every year for the last five years.

This was a finding of research released at the New Zealand Pork Industry AGM this week.

"We've known that consumption has been increasing overall but were unsure of the split between processed and fresh consumption" says Board chairman Chris Trengrove. "Working with retailers, wholesalers, and processors we've been able to fill that information gap. The increase in fresh consumption I believe is a result of people recognising the leanness, versatility, and affordability that pork offers". Additional research conducted shows that pork is currently the cheapest meat in the cabinet. It appears that consumers are taking note!

Attendees at the conference also heard from retailers that the biggest question asked by consumers was "where is my meat from?" With pork, people can be assured 95% of the fresh pork available on supermarket shelves is New Zealand produced, with only 5% imported chilled and frozen product. To reassure customers, the industry provides '100% New Zealand Pork' labelling free of charge to all retailers so there's no excuse for product not being labelled. "The labels have very high uptake, but in the absence of this labelling, the customer should always ask the butchery manager" says Trengrove.

The increased consumption of fresh pork has a flip side though. Less New Zealand Pork is being made into processed products. In fact, about 75% of the bacon and ham made in New Zealand is made from imported pork. Last year 800,000kgs of imported pork arrived in this country every week to supply this market.

"Customers have been asking how they can identify bacon and ham that's made from New Zealand pork. In response, earlier this year we released 100% New Zealand Ham and 100% New Zealand Bacon labelling" says Trengrove.

"We held the inaugural Lesnies 100% New Zealand Bacon Competition in May attracting 233 entries across the four classes. The standard was very high says Trengrove and New Zealanders can be assured there is a great New Zealand bacon close by. All of those bacon makers have been provided with our labelling and are listed along with the competition winners on our website www.pork.co.nz . "Competition winners tell us their sales of bacon have increased 60%, certainly a sign that consumers are looking for both quality and New Zealandness in their products. In the year ahead we'll be looking to do everything we can to help them" says Trengrove.

5m Editor