Bacon shortage “unavoidable”

Experts are warning that increased pork prices as a result of droughts across North America and Russia are “unavoidable.”

The droughts that have ravaged crops across the regions are already significantly impacting food supply, as the cost of feed increases, causing farmers to thin their herds.

The UK’s National Pig Association has warned of a “bacon shortage” over the next six to 12 months.

“A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable,” it said., adding that  the number of slaughtered pigs could drop by 10 percent in the second half of 2013, which could cause the price of pork products to double.

The group has launched a “Save Our Bacon” campaign.

Predictably, Americans have begun to panic at the thought of life without bacon, with countless posts about the shortage on social networking sites.

While some have suggested that Australian producers could make up the shortfall America and the UK, Australian Pork Limited’s Emily Mackintosh told Food Magazine that would be unlikely, but it may offer more opportunity for Australians to eat Australian grown pork products.

“Australia is only very small player on the pork supply world stage, we only export 10 per cent anyway, so we won’t be focussing on major export markets.

“America is [a] massive [exporter], second in world, and South America is massive also, so we would look at making up the shortfall in the domestic market, which is a plus for Australian producers.”

Currently in Australia, 65 per cent of ham, bacon and pork smallgoods products are imported.

Due to ineffective labelling laws, the meat is imported boneless, frozen, thawed, cut and sold with a “Made in Australia” label.

Mackintosh told Food Magazine that the Pork Mark – the hot pink logo found on Australian-grown pork products –  is increasing rapidly, with 350 wholesalers licensed to use the symbol.

“Australia has some of the best animal welfare standards in the world, so it’s good for everyone,” she said.

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