New Research finds Aussies care more about food since COVID-19

Australian ham sandwich

Almost one quarter of Australian’s say COVID-19 has made them more conscious of where their food comes from, according to new research by the National Farmers’ Federation. 

2020 has motivated people to think and act local, with more and more consumers looking to support local farmers and producers. And when asked why they valued buying Australian-produced products and food, over 50% said because it supports Australian jobs, farmers and industries.

While all fresh pork sold in Australia is 100% locally grown, unfortunately the majority of ham and bacon products are made using imported pork. And in recent years, foodservice in Australia has seen the introduction of imported cooked pork products, such as ribs and bellies. These retorted pork products are cooked to very high temperatures in order to be able to sold in Australia. This ultra-heat treatment means they can be kept on a shelf for years, unrefrigerated. 

Each week, around $16.5 million worth of imported pork, or 3.35 million kilograms arrives on Australian shores, directly hurting Australian producers. By making the public aware of the volume of imports in ham and bacon, and some cooked pork products, Australians can make an educated choice about where their food comes from. 

Australian pork producers have some of the highest standards for animal welfare and on-farm management in the world. In the National Farmer’s Federation study, around 62% of Australians agreed they have become more conscious about buying locally produced products and food in the last 12-months, with 13% of those saying they are driven by environmental concerns.

Over the past 40 years, the pork industry has reduced its carbon footprint by 60% and its water usage by 80%. Today, producers are adopting technology to make further sustainability progress, including on-farm waste management and electricity generation through waste products. 

Be sure to ask your supplier when you order your ham, bacon or pre-cooked pork products if they are made using Australian pork. Otherwise, look for the pink Australian Pork logo that guarantees the pork is 100% Australian, and support Aussie farmers!