Everybody loves a delicious Ham for Christmas, but there are a few things to be mindful of before popping down to the store to purchase one.
Most conventional hams (and pork) found in Australian supermarkets and a lot of retail butchers come from pigs that have been farmed under intensive factory farming systems. What does this mean exactly? This means that the pigs and piglets are kept indoors on concrete slabs with minimal space for the entire duration of their lives. In some cases, the mother pigs are kept in sow stalls and farrowing crates which are small metal cages only slightly larger than the pig itself used to severely restrict movement during the pigs pregnancy and birth. The Australian Pork Industry is working towards phasing out “sow stalls”, however pigs still remain to be the most poorly treated animal in Australia.
Unfortunately factory farming in Australia isn’t the only issue here. In addition to this, over 65% of pork small goods sold in Australia, such as bacon and ham have been imported frozen from overseas, where farming practices are not monitored and sow stalls are frequently used.
So with over 90% of hams being sourced from factory farms and overseas, what should you be buying?
If you want to do the right thing and purchase ethically sourced hams, it is important to be buying hams made from 100% Australian Certified Free Range Pork. In Australia, labelling laws can be a little confusing. Here are some tips to remember when buying free range
- The pink “Australian Pork” label found on Pork products does not mean that the pork is free range.
- RSPCA approved does not guarantee the Pork to be free range. It can either be free range or still raised indoors their entire life, but with higher living standards than conventional factory farming.
- Bred Free Range means that the pigs where born in a free range environment but were subsequently raised indoors
- Certified Free Range means that the pigs are kept in grassy pasture, with plenty of room to move around and live a happy life. The farms are regularly audited to ensure that the free range certification requirements are met.
The ethical treatment of animals has always been at the forefront of what we do. We have never, and will never stock any product that has been farmed under intensive farming practices. All of our hams are produced in-store, using certified, Western Australian Free Range Pork and naturally smoked in our in-store smoke house.
Our signature “Naked” range is nitrate free, sugar free and gluten free, naturally cured using only salt, water and spray free home grown rosemary and smoked using organic chestnut wood chips. What are nitrates you may ask? Nitrates are the preservative that is used in pork small goods that give it a rosy-pink colour instead of the greyish brown colour pork naturally has once exposed to air. Learn more
We believe in complete transparency between us and our customers, and are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding any of our products, including our Christmas Hams!