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Pork Producers Protest Against Coles Con

by 5m Editor
18 August 2010, at 9:20am

AUSTRALIA - Pork producers from the Victorian Farmer’s Federation (VFF), with support from Australian Pork Limited (APL), protested in Melbourne earlier today against the double standard around Coles’ new policy to only source fresh Australian pork from gestation stall free environments by 2014, while still sourcing imported pork from countries that continue to use gestation stalls.

The new Coles policy only applies to fresh pork which is supplied by Aussie farmers. The policy does not apply to overseas pig producers who provide Australia with 70 per cent of its processed pork, such as bacon and ham.

“These overseas producers in the USA, Canada and Denmark, who sell their bacon and ham to Coles, continue to use gestation stalls and show no intention of stopping,” said John Bourke, President of the VFF Pig Group.

“How can Coles pretend this policy is about animal welfare when they continue to import bacon and ham from these? It’s a con and Aussie farmers and our consumers are the ones who lose out.”

The producers are asking Coles to apply its policy to all pork – fresh and processed, local and imported.

“Coles’ policy favours overseas producers whose animal welfare practices are almost certainly at a lower level. This is not a level playing field for Aussie farmers,” said APL CEO, Andrew Spencer.

“It’s very simple. Bacon, ham and fresh pork all come from the same pig. If Coles believes this move is about animal welfare, then they should ensure the same standards apply for all their suppliers, which includes overseas pig producers.”

The Coles policy poses a serious threat to the livelihoods of Aussie pork producers. It also is grossly misleading to Australian consumers with the labelling in supermarket deli cabinets not identifying the country of origin of their ham and bacon products. Consumers want their pork produced from welfare friendly production systems. To keep importing pork from countries that continue to use gestation stalls is complete hypocrisy.

“Today’s protest demonstrates the concern and commitment Victorian pig producers have to convincing Coles to change its policy into one that is fair to Aussie farmers and consumers, and for that matter, fair to the welfare of pigs,” said Mr Bourke.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.
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