Christmas shoppers urged to buy local ham

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Jenne BrammerThe West Australian
VideoNeed some help with that Christmas cooking? Here's everything you need to prepare the perfect ham.

Shoppers are being urged to buy local ham and pork this Christmas to help the State’s pig farmers, as part of a campaign called #Hamstand launched by the Nationals WA.

Pig producers are struggling under the weight of record-high grain prices, hefty competition from interstate and international imports, and over-supply caused by increased productivity.

National WA leader Mia Davies said WA producers were losing almost $60 for each pig produced — equivalent to a loss of about $625,000 a week across the State’s industry.

Ms Davies said she was proud when people supported strawberry growers during the needle sabotage scandal and wanted them to do the same for pig producers by insisting on local product.

“WA turns out some of the best pork products in the world, so this Christmas we’re asking all West Aussies to make a conscious effort to buy WA products and help our local producers,” Ms Davies said at the #HamStand launch at Parliament House yesterday.

“Whether it’s the traditional Christmas Day leg of ham, roast pork dinner with the rellies or bacon for your Boxing Day fry-up, make sure the pork on your fork comes from WA producers.”

Nationals WA agriculture spokesman Colin de Grussa said shoppers should not be afraid to ask their local butcher about the origin of their pork.

WA Pork Producers Association president Dawson Bradford urged shoppers to check labelling on products.

“New country of origin labelling with the green kangaroo and bar chart underneath will help consumers understand the Australian content of products they are buying,” Mr Bradford said.

He said if the Christmas ham had a bone in it, customers could rest assured it was Australian.

Ms Davies said the industry was too important to lose.

The State’s share of Australia’s gross value of pig production was 13.5 per cent in 2015-16, supporting 1340 full time jobs and generating $114 million in household incomes for WA families.

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