Australia’s passion for pork belly and sticky ribs could send the country’s pig industry to the wall.
In 2017, pig prices have so far fallen by more than a third, while the amount of imported pork continues to rise.
“We’re in a state of depression I suppose you would call it. We’ve just got a sea of meat and we can’t sell it at any price,” farmer John Bourke said.
An oversupply of pig meat in Australia and a sudden flood of cheap, imported, pre-cooked pig meat with a shelf life of up to two years are causing the sudden drop in prices.
The pig industry has always had to compete with cheap imported hams and bacon — because they are pre-cooked, the meats are allowed into Australia.
But now for the first time, cheap pre-cooked pork bellies and pork ribs are flooding the market, and being served at restaurants, takeaway shops and conferences across Australia.