PORK, BACON AND HAM AWARDS SHOWCASE OUTSTANDING NZ PRODUCE
Winners announced at New Zealand Pork’s annual pork, bacon and ham awards gala dinner
Farmers, butchers, retailers and industry leaders gathered in Christchurch last night to celebrate the best flavours, styles and cooking innovations at the tenth annual New Zealand Pork, Bacon and Ham Awards, announced last night at a gala dinner at Christchurch’s Sudima Hotel.
The competition, which was judged at the end of June in Auckland, provided over 50 pork retailers from across the country with the platform to present the very best of their New Zealand born and raised pork products.
This year’s awards were sponsored by Halley Labels, Pacific Flavours and Five Star Pork, and hosted a record 223 entries, showcasing outstanding products from nine categories, divided among five bacon, two ham and two pork classes.
The winners announced last night included the presentation of this year’s supreme winners: Cameron Harrison Butchery (Bacon), Aussie Butcher New Lynn (Ham) and Grey Lynn Butchers (Pork).
New Zealand Pork General Manager Sonya Matthews says over the past ten years the competition has grown into a nationally recognised event.
“We are extremely pleased with the record number of entrants this year – especially because it is the competition’s tenth consecutive year.
“The number of entrants has progressively grown year-after-year, and we could not be happier with the quality of produce that is submitted.” she says.
In celebration of the competition’s success, this year included a special presentation for the Producer of the Decade, received by Ellesmere Butchery in Canterbury.
The awards also included categories that reflect the evolving demands of local consumers. The innovative category asks for entrants to showcase something new, while the convenient category looks for a quick and easy weekday meal that can be cooked in under 20 minutes.
“The innovative category is one of my favourites, because it highlights just how versatile pork products are.” Ms. Matthews says.
Those competing in bacon have the opportunity to present dishes that use up to five different types of bacon: middle, dry cured, shoulder, streaky and middle eye. While boneless ham is judged separately to in-bone leg ham.
Head judge and chef at Wellington’s Brentwood Hotel, Glenn Curphey, says this year’s standard was outstanding.
“There was a lot of craftsmanship and creativity displayed. The sheer number of entries tells us that there are a lot of people around the country who take a lot of pride in what they do and what they’re selling.”
The competition’s judges were made up of food writers, meat experts, traders and chefs.
“We had a really nice mix of judges, across the board. It was quite a broad spectrum of opinions and ideas, which worked really well.”
The NZQA qualified judge who has been involved in competitions both regionally and nationally, says it took a lot of thoughtful consideration to come to the final winners.
“We look at the textures, the mouth-feel, the taste, the colouring of the meat, the plating and presentation, the moisture content and the fat ratio.”
“This year’s standard was so high that we really struggled, but our supreme winners showcased some amazing food. By the final round, we had all agreed on who our winners would be.”
Each category is judged by a panel of four judges in pairs, and the top scoring dishes are then put through to a second round to determine the medal placings.
From there, each category’s winner is judged a final time to reach the three supreme winners.
Mr. Curphey says while the judging process was long, it was thoroughly enjoyable.
“It was particularly long for the streaky bacon judges who had over 40 entries to taste. So, it was really important to keep their palettes refreshed.”
“There were a couple of flavourings used this year that I found really interesting. For example, chilli bacon and pepper crusted pork – we had to really think about how they achieved the end result because it was a blind tasting.”
General Manager Sonya Matthews says NZ Pork was extremely pleased with this year’s competition, and would like to thank all the entrants for the work they put into their entries.
“The awards are a great opportunity for our retailers and butchers to present the fantastic produce they sell, and showcase their skills in preparing and cooking New Zealand pork, bacon and ham.
“Our farmers work extremely hard to provide New Zealanders with quality pork products that are born and raised in New Zealand, so it is great to see retailers promote them in such a fantastic way.” she says.
Earlier this month, New Zealand Pork introduced the new Born and Raised in New Zealand pork labels for local retailers. Products carrying this label provide the assurance for Kiwi consumers that they are sourced from pigs that were born and raised with care by New Zealand farmers.
Click here for the full list of Pork, Bacon and Ham Awards winners
New Zealand Pork is the statutory industry board that works to support New Zealand’s pork producers and farmers, building a sustainable future and ensuring high standards of animal welfare.
Media release: 25 July 2017
NZ Pork welcomes Government focus on biosecurity
The announcement of additional operating funding for biosecurity is a vital protection for the country’s primary industries, according to New Zealand Pork.
NZ Pork, the statutory board that works on behalf of local pig farmers, says that as one of the world’s leading high-health primary industries, the local pork production sector sees biosecurity as vitally important.
Over $18million of operating funding over four years was included in Budget 2017 to help secure the biosecurity system and protect New Zealand’s borders.
NZ Pork chairman Ian Carter says the increase in biosecurity funding reinforces how important an issue it is not only to the primary industry and the economy, but also the well-being of all New Zealanders
“One of the unique things about the New Zealand pork industry, for example, is that our producers grow food purely for the local market,” says Ian Carter.
“They feel very strongly that as we are providing products that will feed our neighbours, we must do everything possible to maintain the health of our herds and biosecurity of our operations.”
“New Zealand’s high animal health status not only provides for better welfare of our animals but also minimises the need for antibiotic use unlike most of the countries exporting pork to New Zealand.”
NZ Pork dedicates a considerable portion of its operating budget every year to monitoring emerging risks and biosecurity threats from overseas and providing best-practice education for commercial pig farmers.
“This has enabled us to establish an international reputation as a high-health status industry.”
“But everyone – from the Government, to ordinary New Zealanders, to overseas visitors – has a role to play in ensuring our borders are protected from pests and diseases, which could cost the primary industry and the wider economy dearly.”
“This latest Budget injection is a strong signal of the Government’s commitment to the protection of the safe food we enjoy in New Zealand.”
Mr Carter says one area the Government could also address is Country of Origin labelling, to help local consumers make an informed choice when they are buying food for their families.
“We note that the new investment will include a review of Import Health Standards (IHS) to ensure they are up-to-date. However, the Import Health Standards don’t include any animal welfare components, which are the standards our local industry has to meet in order to gain PigCare™ accreditation and sell products commercially.”
“We believe this is an important distinction – one we’re reinforcing through our new ‘Born and Raised in New Zealand labelling – that Kiwis care about, if they have enough information to make a choice.”
For further information on PigCare
Media release: 26 May 2017
NZ PORK WELCOMES CROSS PARTY SUPPORT FOR COUNTRY OF ORGIN LABELLING
Consumers’ Right To Know Bill going to Select Committee
Cross party support for the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin Food) Bill, heading to the Select Committee stage, is a true reflection of Kiwi consumers’ attitudes, according to the latest research by NZ Pork.
NZ Pork, the statutory board that works on behalf of local pig farmers, promotes a high standard of animal welfare and a sustainable future for the local industry has been calling for all parties to back the bill.
According to in-depth independent consumer research, currently being conducted by NZ Pork, New Zealanders expect that the meat they buy in New Zealand is born and raised here.
NZ Pork chairman Ian Carter says, for example, around 60 per cent of pork sold in New Zealand is imported, from 20 countries around the world.
“Based on our research, New Zealanders would be very surprised to learn how high the levels of imported food products are in some popular categories,” says Ian Carter.
“The expectation of Kiwi shoppers is that, if a product isn’t from here, they should be told where it is from so they can make an informed choice.”
Seventy per cent of New Zealanders support mandatory country of origin labelling for meat, fruit, vegetables and nuts, according to a recent poll.
NZ Pork is currently refreshing its labelling for New Zealand grown pork products to emphasise both country of origin and its PigCare
“We hope as this bill progresses, more of our elected representatives will recognise the wishes of their constituents and provide the opportunity for local consumers to understand more about where their food is sourced.”
For further information on PigCare
Media release: 13 April 2017
KIWI SHOPPERS SUPPORT COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELLING
Independent research by NZ Pork backs the Green’s Consumers’ Right To Know Bill
Independent research into the attitudes of local consumers, commissioned by NZ Pork, reinforces public support for the Green Party’s Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin Food) Bill, currently before Parliament.
NZ Pork, the statutory board that works on behalf of local pig farmers, promotes a high standard of animal welfare and a sustainable future for the local industry, is joining widespread calls from the food sector for all parties to back the bill.
The organisation recently commissioned independent research for it’s own country of origin food labelling. The survey of over 300 New Zealand household shoppers found that when considering the benefits of buying a local product, 86 per cent believed New Zealand’s food quality regulations were of a higher standard and 76 per cent felt New Zealand has better farming practices than other countries.
NZ Pork chairman Ian Carter says local consumers believe it is very important to know where their food comes from, so they can make an informed choice when feeding their families.
“Our own country of origin labelling research has highlighted the importance Kiwi consumers put on knowing more about how their food is produced and where it is sourced from,” says Ian Carter.
“In particular, New Zealanders want to understand the standards that govern how their food was grown or raised – something they feel they know less about when it comes to imported products.”
Based on their research, NZ Pork is introducing additional labelling for their PigCare
Almost 60 per cent of pork products consumed in New Zealand are currently imported. Imported pork does not have to meet New Zealand’s high animal welfare standards.
“By providing country of origin labelling Kiwi consumers are not only able to choose to support the local industry which employs many New Zealanders and contributes to the local economy, they are also able to make selections that reflect their own standards in terms of care, expertise and welfare in the farming practice.”
“NZ Pork hopes to see all our elected members from across the political spectrum support the right of New Zealand consumers to make that informed choice through compulsory Country of Origin labelling.”
For further information on PigCare
Media release: 10 March 2017
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