An Australian pork importer says the main reason his company imports Irish pork is because “it’s cheap”.

Director of sales and marketing at Sure Good Foods Australia Michael Niblett says Irish-produced pork is “one of the least expensive at the moment” when it comes to its international and European competitors.

The Australian pork importer said Irish pork imported to Australia, including freight costs, is less expensive to buy than pork produced in Australia itself.

‘Partner with Ireland’

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal at food and beverage trade show ‘Food Hotel Asia’ in Singapore on Monday, Niblett described his Australian food-processing company’s involvement with Irish pork exporters. However, he would not disclose which companies he deals with.

“We partner with Ireland and we import a lot of pork from Ireland into Australia and our company is actually one of the major importers of Irish pork,” he said.

He said Sure Good Foods imports “between 20 and 30 containers of Irish pork per month of different items like pork middles and pork loins for example”.

“They’re 25t containers so it’s a fair volume,” he said.

‘Big producers’

On the demand for Irish pork in Australia, Niblett said: “Obviously, you’re big producers of pork and the customers like the product obviously, or they wouldn’t buy it otherwise, but we find Irish pork very, very competitive compared to other origins we buy.”

Australia is seeing demand for Irish pork, says importer.

He said: “It’s one of the least expensive at the moment because you’re producing a lot of pigs and the demand for Australian pork is unbelievable.

“We have a very small core population in Australia, but Australians can’t get enough pork, that’s why we import a lot as well.”

Pork exports

Pork produced in Ireland was promoted strongly by Bord Bia at its Origin Green Ireland stand at the Food Hotel Asia expo in Singapore on Monday.

Imagery of Irish pigs in straw featured prominently at the stand and booklets were available to interested Asian buyers titled ‘Pork from Ireland – Where we work in harmony with nature’.

On the attributes of Irish pork, Bord Bia’s key points included Ireland’s island location and lack of a wild boar population as a disease preventative, its traceability from farm to fork, its food safety standards and its sustainable family-run farms.

In 2021, Ireland exported 276,000t of pigmeat. The country processed 3.69m pigs last year or a total of 335,000t.

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