Page 10 - Australian Pork Newspaper
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The author’s delicious D’Orsogna lightly Thank you Brad. Nice ham, delivered like a The beauty of a Christmas ham is it can smoked, gluten free, Australian pork leg ham slow ball at the Boxing Day Test, but it hit the be enjoyed for days after, well carved finally landed at his home. spot when it finally landed. (or not).
Hamming it up for Christmas
THERE is no question the festive season is all about ham.
And why not?
It is tasty, versatile, long lasting and available in many shapes, forms and sizes, albeit it’s best to on- ly ever buy bone-in, thus guaranteeing it comes from a bona-fide Aussie pig.
I’ve been blessed every Christmas for many years, receiving a complimenta- ry ham, bone-in of course, from my good friend and
client Brad Thomason. This tradition began when Brad spent 15 years heading up Watsonia, a once-great Western Aus- tralian brand when under Brad’s watch in his role as chief executive of its par- ent, George Weston Foods
Meat & Dairy Division. When he moved across town in 2000 as manag- ing director of D’Orsogna, Brad began turning around a 50-year-old WA family run, traditional Italian smallgoods manu-
facturer, with a loyal, lo- cal consumer base, into what’s now a national iconic brand, 70 years on from its humble be- ginnings in a small West Perth butcher shop.
In fiscal 2018, D’Orsogna posted a net profit of $4.8 million, up from $3.6 million the year before, with revenue for the year of $193.4 million, up from $179.6 million a year earlier.
In March this year, D’Orsogna will official- ly open a new purpose- built, state-of-the-art $66 million plant north of Melbourne, in a move certain to shake up the smallgoods market on the east coast and help position D’Orsogna for flagged moves into export and further consolidation across its existing Aus- tralian markets.
The new Melbourne site will double D’Orsogna’s production capacity and manufacture a range of in- novative ham, bacon and other meat protein prod- ucts.
Headquartered in Perth, WA market leader D’Orsogna produces a range of cured and cooked whole and sliced hams, gourmet continental goods, bacon and cooked and fresh sausages.
Its landmark WA prem- ises at Palmyra, near the port of Fremantle, has been D’Orsogna’s home since 1973.
It is tipped to retain its head office status, staff and production.
However it is anticipated a large percentage of the expanded production ca- pacity will be produced out of the new Victorian facility, due to its proxim- ity to major markets and streamlined manufactur- ing processes.
The new facility will incorporate the latest en- ergy and water conserva- tion technology and with a focus on sustainable and efficient processes driving the design, production ca- pacity will be optimised.
Anyway, I digress.
Back to Christmas hams. Somehow, my usual
phone call the week before Christmas to say my ham was ready to be picked up from D’Orsogna’s Pal- myra butcher shop never happened.
With 15 or so people coming for lunch on Christmas Day and me having promised to de-
liver on the ham, with others nominating the likes of turkey, roast pork, prawns, vegetables, salads and desserts, I had to act a few days out, so bought a bone-in D’Orsogna ham from Farmer Jacks in Claremont, one of nine fantastic, independently owned, customer friendly FJs supermarkets com- mitted to selling quality WA produce.
Whenever I can I sup- port them, especially as I’ve shared a few pleas- ant social occasions with FJs owner Fred Fairthorne and Brad.
The two have a supplier/ customer relationship built on trust and respect and a steadfast commitment to deliver quality products to their loyal customers, aided and abetted by their
shared recreational pas- sion of horse racing.
So, having bought my ‘budget ham’, which went down a treat on Christ- mas day, I did receive a call from Brad a couple of days later saying “Hey, you forgot to pick up your ham”.
Having thought the worst – had a longstand- ing tradition been broken, did I miss an email or a phone message, or had I somehow put Brad off- side? – I was relieved to learn it was simply a case of someone at D’Orsogna thinking someone else was calling me and, alas, neither did.
With Christmas 2018 now over and New Year too, best wishes to all APN readers, especially pork producers.
Page 10 – Australian Pork Newspaper, January 2019
The author thinks Christmas crays are overrated and often expensive. These ones were $49 each. Ouch!
The author’s blue heeler, Boodja, advocates bone-in Australian ham, for very obvious reasons.

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