A new marketing promotion will see butchers across Australia will help consumers more clearly identify home-grown, fresh Australian pork.
According to Australian Pork Ltd, consumer research shows that 33pc of Australians mistakenly believe fresh pork can be imported, when by law, all fresh pork is Australian.
As a consequence APL has produced distinctive pink "Australian Pork" meat tickets for butchers to display, helping customers easily identify fresh pork as having been bred and grown in Australia.
Currently, the tickets are only for use with fresh Australian pork, and not with smallgoods.
APL chief executive officer Andrew Spencer said the meat ticketing program is an important step forward for Australian pig farmers, who have been pushing for clearer labelling on Australian grown pork products.
"Unfortunately, many consumers aren't aware that all fresh pork sold in Australia is Australian grown," Mr Spencer said.
"The introduction of the Australian Pork meat tickets into butchers will drive that message home."
Mr Spencer said recent consumer research conducted by APL indicated that Australian provenance is a significant selling point for consumers – 87pc of Australians prefer to buy Australian, with 85pc suggesting they would be prepared to pay a 20 per cent premium.
"Not many consumers know that over 70pc of Australia's processed pork products (ham, bacon and small goods) have been produced from cheap subsidised imported pork from markets like Denmark, Canada and the US," Mr Spencer said.
He said the one thing industry could do was adopt better labelling of local pork products.
Under the current labelling system, consumers have no idea of the country of origin of pork and pork products.
"The current labelling system is very confusing and not informative from a consumer perspective," Mr Spencer said.
"There are currently three label claims used to describe the origin of pork products. These are: Product of Australia, which is Australian grown; Made in Australia, which can be grown and processed in Australia but potentially contains imported meat; and Made from Imported and Local Ingredients, which is in all likelihood predominately imported pork."
Mr Spencer said the next step in garnering support for Australian pig farmers is to licence the Australian Pork logo to businesses manufacturing smallgoods containing 100pc Australian pork.
When finalised, this licensing program will enable certified companies to use the Australian Pork logo on their smallgoods which contain 100pc Australian pork.