PigCare accredited pork

The goal of New Zealand pig farmers is to ensure that consumers, retailers and wholesalers have confidence in the pork they produce and their pig farming practices.

From pigs raised on New Zealand farms.
Raised under world class welfare standards.
Free from added growth hormones and unnecessary antibiotics.
Compliant with New Zealand’s stringent food safety standards.

To ensure that consumers know where their pork comes from, NZPork provides free labels to retailers and butchers across the country. If there is no Born and Raised in New Zealand PigCare certified label on pork, there is no guarantee that you are buying New Zealand pork or pork products. If you are ever unsure, ask your butcher.

Fresh New Zealand pork comes from ‘finisher’ pigs that have been reared in a social environment in group housing systems. No commercially raised fresh pork in New Zealand comes from pigs that have been raised in crates or stalls.

However some of the processed pork products you eat (for example, small goods such as sausages and salamis) will have come from breeding stock. Depending on the farming system used, some of these animals may have spent time in farrowing pens with crates and/or mating stalls.

Unfortunately, there is no requirement for imported pork to meet New Zealand’s welfare standards. This means that imported pork products must only meet the New Zealand government’s Import Health Standards and the food safety requirements for all imported foods.

The volume of imported pork is increasing each year, meaning the New Zealand pork industry struggles to compete with cheap imports. Buying pork with the Born and Raised in New Zealand PigCare certified label supports New Zealand farmers and the economy.

Choose PigCare

You have a choice when you buy pork products. Currently, over 60% of pork products are imported into New Zealand. More than 60% of ham, bacon and small goods are made from imported pork. If a pork product says “Made in New Zealand from imported and local ingredients” on the packaging, then it is most likely made from imported pork.

Imported pork is not required to meet New Zealand’s welfare standards nor the standards established by PigCare. Approximately 95% of imported products come from countries that permit farming practices which impact animal welfare that are illegal in New Zealand.

Pork is imported into New Zealand from more than twenty countries - including the EU, Canada, USA, Australia and China. These countries have a range of farming standards. Imported pork only has to meet government Import Health Standards and food safety requirements, neither of which include any animal welfare standards.

Buying products marked with the PigCare label means local consumers can be sure the animals have been born and raised in New Zealand with an assurance of animal welfare.

Did you know:

  • As of January 2019, approximately 60% of the pork and pork products eaten in New Zealand are made from imported pork.
  • While most imported pork ends up in bacon, ham and smallgoods, a growing amount is also sold chilled at retail.
  • New Zealand pig farmers can demonstrate high on-farm animal welfare standards through the PigCare certification programme.
  • Imported pork products come into New Zealand without having to meet New Zealand’s animal welfare standards.
  • Imported pork is often cheaper than New Zealand pork because many overseas countries pay subsidies to their farmers, which reduces the costs of farming. As well, the very great majority of imported pork is farmed in countries with lower welfare standards, which also reduces their cost of production.
  • As the volume of imported pork increases, the New Zealand pork industry will continue to struggle to compete with cheap imports unless New Zealand consumers choose to support Born and Raised in New Zealand PigCare certified pork.
  • Imported pork from some countries can be farmed using added growth promotants.
  • Gestation stalls are banned in New Zealand but pork is imported from many countries that still use them to house pregnant sows. Some sows in New Zealand may be housed in mating stalls for up to 7 days per reproductive cycle.
  • Pigs from PigCare certified farms are not castrated. At least 95% of New Zealand’s commercially farmed pigs are from PigCare certified farms. Some countries that import pork in New Zealand are allowed to castrate piglets without pain relief, which is illegal here.

Countries we imported pork from in 2018:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Korea
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • UK
  • USA
  • Vietnam