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Example of high welfare farming – mother pigs in group housing with straw for enrichment.
Mystery pork leaves Australian farmers behind
THE Australian govern- ment has left shoppers in the dark in relation to pork products on shelves, so World Animal Pro- tection has launched a campaign calling for greater transparency to help shoppers support Australian farmers.
bacon – is imported from Europe or North America, with the US making up around 50 percent of total imports.
country of origin label- ling requirements, which are currently being re- viewed, so consumers can tell where their ham and bacon comes from, and avoid lower welfare US imports.
more than twice a week, country of origin informa- tion will assist those shop- pers wanting to support Australian pig farmers.
Current ‘country of or- igin’ labelling laws allow companies to completely omit information as to which countries imported ham and bacon are from, and Australians are una- ware of the ramifications of the omissions.
This is concerning, as pig farming standards in the US are worse than those in Australia, across a number of issues.
World Animal Protec- tion encourages those who do choose to buy pork products, to check the label for a country of origin and, in the case of ham and bacon, avoid products imported from the US and look for higher welfare Australian op- tions.
Research reveals that of Australians who shop for pork at the supermarket, 91 percent believe pork products to be mostly or all Australian farmed, but this is not the case.
In the US, many mother pigs are kept in sow stalls or cages for the length of their pregnancy, while the Australian industry is working towards a sow stall phase out in response to consumer sentiment.
The welfare of mother pigs and support for Aus- tralian farmers isn’t the only reason proper label- ling is important.
While fresh pork on our shelves is Australian, most of the processed pork – such as ham and
“We are calling on the government to update the
More Australian shop- pers are trying to buy local, and with 39 percent of Australians eating pork
Imports from the US have doubled over the past five years.
“Clearer pork labels would give shoppers the information they deserve, allowing them to support the higher standards being promoted by most Aus- tralian pig farmers.”
Some retailers do pro- vide information about the country of origin of pork products, though many don’t.
World Animal Protec- tion head of campaigns Ben Pearson said, “Aus- tralian pig farmers are ahead of their US coun- terparts when it comes to animal welfare.”
Overseas, hygiene and antibiotic use are also huge concerns – increas- ingly brought to light by the current coronavirus pandemic.
The public can get in- volved and call on govern- ment to stop keeping the origin of pork products a mystery by signing the petition on World An- imal Protection’s website worldanimalprotection.
New opportunities for animal protein in China
AFRICAN swine fever and COVID-19 have cre- ated great volatility in China’s animal protein market, leading to shifts in distribution channels and consumer behaviour that will create new op- portunities for meat ex- porters, according to a new report out of China by global agribusiness banking specialist Ra- bobank.
dropped by more than 20 percent in 2019, and a fur- ther drop of 15-20 percent was expected in 2020.
this would lead to ongoing opportunities for substi- tute meats such as poultry and beef.
In the report, Rabobank’s China-based senior an- imal proteins analyst Chenjun Pan said several major trends are expected to drive future change in the Chinese market, in- cluding more diversified consumer groups, increas- ingly blurred distinctions between various market segments and channels, and a higher demand for convenience and smaller packaging.
In coming years – par- ticularly 2021 – Chinese pork retail prices were ex- pected to stay relatively high, with consumption comparatively low, and
“Longer-term opportu- nities for other proteins will rest on whether they can penetrate into a wider consumer base and estab- lish new dietary habits during this time window, before Chinese pork pro- duction recovers,” Mr Gidley-Baird said.
“Despite two years of strong imports, the supply drop has been so drastic that pork consumption per capita in China has dropped from 40kg in 2018 to 32.6kg in 2019, and is expected to drop to 28kg in 2020,” Mr Gidley- Baird said.
“As production recovers, Chinese pork consump- tion will increase again, albeit we do not believe it will return to pre-ASF levels.
Among the major an- imal proteins, Chinese pork consumption has seen the greatest changes in recent years as a result of ASF.
Rabobank Australian senior animal proteins an- alyst Angus Gidley-Baird said Chinese pork supply
Angus Gidley-Baird and Chenjun Pan in Roma, Queensland.
Australian Pork Newspaper, October 2020 – Page 15

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