Homer Simpson may have been the first to come up with Bacon Day but Australian Pork Limited (APL) has gone one better, surpassing Homer’s wildest dreams with Australian Bacon Week, a (delicious) initiative to highlight the pink square PorkMark – the only guaranteed way you can choose 100 per cent pure home grown Australian bacon.
Heralding Australian Bacon Week 18 – 25 March will be the announcement of the winners of Australia’s Best Bacon on Tuesday 13 March by the Hon Joe Ludwig, Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Not just a celebration everyone’s favourite breakfast food, Australian Bacon Week is more importantly a show of support for the local pork farmers as well as bacon, ham and smallgoods manufacturers that are committed to using and selling products made with 100 per cent Australian pork. It is the celebration of true blue Australian bacon rather than from imported pork used to make 65% of small goods sold in Australia.
Countries like Denmark and Canada have highly subsidised agricultural industries and as such are able to export frozen product in enormous amounts, destined for smallgood manufacturing. Over 2.6 million kilograms of foreign pig meat – $8.5 million worth – arrives in Australia every week.
APL CEO Andrew Spencer says: “Our consumer research has shown 95 per cent of Australians would prefer to buy Australian. But they find the current labeling for bacon very confusing and at times misleading. For example ‘Made in Australia’ does not mean the product is made from Australian grown pork, only that it has been manufactured here. This pork is imported frozen, thawed out and then manufactured into bacon in Australia. The only way to be really sure you’re buying bacon or indeed any type of smallgoods product made using Australian pork is to look for the pink Australian PorkMark as your guarantee of Australian origin”.
This year, 115 bacons were registered as part of the National Bacon Awards for Excellence, entries were then judged by two chefs and a fleishmeister on a variety of factors including appearance, aroma, texture, shrinkage and of course, taste.*
Cameron Fenson of Meatways Butchery in Kambah took out national second place for his short cut bacon. Judges described his entry as having “good neat colour, inviting aroma and great balance of sweet, smoke and salt flavour developing on the back palate”.
Currently, there are 353 butchers and smallgoods producers licensed to champion the PorkMark on their products. Since the inception of Australian Bacon Week in 2010, the number of licensees nation wide has continued to grow, indicating the growing push from the Australian public to buy local and the subsequent real value proposition that being part of the Australian PorkMark program brings to businesses.
During Australian Bacon Week, hundreds of licensees around the country will be conducting in-store promotions which include bacon taste testing, price promotions as well as Australian bacon buy one get one free specials among other localised events.
And the national winners are…
|Full Rasher||Peter G Bouchier Pty Ltd – Moorabbin, Vic||Slade Point Meat Specialists – Mackay, Qld||Rapley’s Midtown Quality Meats – Narooma, NSW|
|Short Cut||Barossa Fine Foods/Schulz Butchers, Angaston SA||Meatways Butchery – Kambah, ACT||Kanmantoo Bacon Company – Kanmantoo, SA|
And the state winners are…
|Full Rasher||Balzanelli Smallgoods – Fyshwick, ACT||Griffith Butchery – Griffith, ACT||Mike’s Meats – Fyshwick, ACT|
|Short Cut||Meatways Butchery – Kambah, ACT||Simco Meats – Macquarie, ACT||Balzanelli Smallgoods – Fyshwick, ACT|
* The judges comprised fleishmeister Horst Schurger, who has a Master’s degree in Butchering and Smallgoods from the Master College in Mönchengladbach Germany and two chefs, Paul McDonald and Simon Bestley. Between them, McDonald and Bestley have broad international experience working in Michelin starred restaurants, cruise liners and premier teaching institutions