Inaugural Australian Ham Week leads the fight back for Australian grown pork

Posted by Josette Dunn on 5th July 2010

In a bid to help confused Australian consumers and in a fight back for the country’s embattled pork producers, Australian Ham Week will be launched today (5 July).

Australian PorkMark

Australian pork producers have for some time now been battling against the flood of subsidised imports from Denmark, for bacon and the US and Canada for leg meat (ham). More than $10 million worth of pork imports, or over 2.6 million kilograms of frozen pork, arrives by boat in Australia EVERY WEEK. In fact this imported meat represents over 70 per cent of Australia’s ham, bacon and smallgoods consumption.

It’s time to fight back and regain some of this lost ground. The initiative to do this has been launched by the Australian pork industry producer body, Australian Pork Limited (APL), and has been called Australian Ham Week. This initiative is also timed for the month-long Christmas in July celebrations.

Australian Ham Week will highlight the Australian PorkMark label. The hot pink Australian PorkMark logo is a sure fired way to guarantee what is in the packet is 100 per cent Australian home grown and manufactured ham.

The inaugural Australian Ham Week will be heralded with the announcement of the winners of the Australian PorkMark Ham Awards for Excellence.

Consumer research has shown that 87 per cent of Australians prefer to buy Australian grown food if they could identify it, but the existing country of origin labelling regulations makes it difficult for consumers to do this.

APL CEO Andrew Spencer says: “Traditional Australian grocery labelling laws are vague and very confusing for consumers. The square, pink Australian PorkMark is a no-ifs-no-buts guarantee of Australian origin.”

To- date there are one hundred and seventy eight butchers and smallgoods manufacturers Australia wide that are licensed to display the PorkMark logo on their products, which are the finest smallgoods available in Australia.

As an essential part of the Yuletide feast, central to Christmas in July celebrations and throughout the ensuing cold months, Australian Ham Week will not only showcase quality, Australian ham but raises awareness of the importance of supporting the local Australian pork industry.

Open to all smallgoods processors that make their ham from Australian grown pork, the entries for Australian PorkMark Ham Awards for Excellence were divided into two categories: bone-in and boneless; and judged against key criteria, including appearance, texture, aroma and taste.

The judges were two chefs with broad international experience including working in Michelin starred restaurants, cruise liners and premier teaching institutions, and a Fleischmeister with a Masters degree in Butchering and Smallgoods from the Master College in Monchen Gladbach Germany.

The winners of the Awards for Excellence will be announced on the evening of 5 July at Aperitif Restaurant in Sydney’s Potts Point. Guests will be treated to ham carving demonstrations and sample the winning hams together with ham-inspired canapés from Aperitif chef Derek Baker – all accompanied by Piggs Peake wines.

The winners of the Inaugural Australian PorkMark Ham Awards for Excellence (2010) are:

Australian Boneless Ham
Reg Barkly – Barkly Smokehouse Pty Ltd (Vic)
Larry Sankey – Pastoral Ham & Beef Pty Ltd (NSW)
Greg Behrendt – Gregs Tender Joint (Vic)
Traditional Australian Bone-In Leg ham
Michael Farinaccio – CutFresh (Vic)
Andrew Quin – Quin’s Gourmet Butcher (WA)
Darren Simmons – Simco Meats (ACT)
OverAll Winner and Australia’s Best Ham Award
Barkly Smokehouse Pty Ltd (Vic)