Australian Pork Limited policy general manager Deb Kerr said the biggest driver of low pork prices was the increase of imported pork from overseas in pre-cooked and pre-packaged form, which was going into the food service trade.
“These products are cooked to high temperatures, and they’re shelf stable for up to two years without refrigeration,” she said.
“They’re displacing fresh Australian product from Australian pork producers in the food service trade.”
Prices had been in decline since the new year, and while SA producers were coping with challenging conditions, interstate farmers were struggling with even lower prices, with the highest price in Qld saleyards this week 50 cents a kilogram less than in SA.
Ms Kerr said despite the low prices, pork demand was continuing to increase, with pork overtaking beef for consumption.
“We’re looking at investing in additional market initiatives to help further drive demand and hopefully take some of the oversupply out of the market,” she said.
“There are good campaigns out there, like the ads on TV for Hog’s Breath Cafe, which feature the Australian pork trademark. It’s good to see a chain like that promoting Australian pork to consumers.”
Ms Kerr said APL was looking forward to the new country of origin labelling laws coming into force from July 1 next year.
“If you look at some of the imported products, it’s often hard to tell they’re imported,” she said.
“When you buy fresh product or ham on the bone, you know it’s Australian, but with pre-packaged products it can be difficult.”