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Wake Up and Smell the Bacon!

by 5m Editor
7 March 2011, at 9:56am

AUSTRALIA - While Australian Bacon Week is an annual celebration of everyone’s favorite breakfast food, it is more importantly a show of support for the local pork farmers as well as bacon, ham and smallgoods manufacturers that are committed to using and selling products made with 100 per cent Australian pork.

An initiative of Australian Pork Limited (APL), Australian Bacon Week is conceived to raise awareness of the local industry’s ongoing fight against imported pig meat, spearheaded by the PorkMark programme. Countries like Denmark and Canada have highly subsidised agricultural industries and as such are able to export frozen product in enormous amounts, destined for smallgood manufacturing. More than $10 million worth of imported pork meat arrives in Australia every week.

APL CEO Andrew Spencer says: “Our consumer research has shown 95 per cent of consumers who prefer to buy Australian find the current labelling for bacon very confusing and at times misleading. For example ‘Made in Australia’ does not mean the product is made from Australian grown pork, only that it has been manufactured here. The harsh reality is that between 70 to 80 per cent of bacon is made from imported pork. This pork is imported frozen, thawed out and then manufactured into bacon in Australia. The only way to be really sure you’re buying bacon or indeed any type of smallgoods product made using Australian pork is to look for the pink Australian PorkMark as your guarantee of Australian origin.“

Currently, there are 293 butchers and smallgoods producers licensed to champion the PorkMark on their products. Since the inception of Australian Bacon Week in 2010, the number of licensees nation wide has more than doubled, indicating the growing push from the Australian public to buy local and the subsequent real value proposition that being part of the Australian PorkMark program brings to businesses.

During Australian Bacon Week, hundreds of licensees around the country will be conducting in-store promotions which include bacon taste testing, price promotions as well as Australian bacon buy one get one free specials among other localised events.

As part of the festivities of Australian Bacon Week, APL embarks on a search for the Australia’s best bacon. This year, 97 bacons form 72 manufacturers were registered as part of the national Awards for Excellence, which were then judged on a variety of factors including appearance, aroma, texture, shrinkage and of course, taste.

The judges comprised fleishmeister Horst Schurger, who has a Master’s degree in Butchering and Smallgoods from the Master College in Mönchengladbach Germany and two chefs, Paul McDonald and Simon Bestley. Between them, McDonald and Bestley have broad international experience working in Michelin starred restaurants, cruise liners and premier teaching institutions.

To find out the names of the national winners, please click here.