Producers of black pigs see red over ACCC decisionCATHY WALKER June 24, 2014 3:10am
Barham’s Lauren Mathers says bad publicity over Saskia Beer’s pork products has damaged the industry.
The headline writers had fun with jokes about telling porkies and how pig claims don’t fly when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission last week exposed food guru Maggie Beer’s daughter, Saskia, for misleading the public about her Barossa Farm Produce.
The news was less amusing for heritage-breed pork producers, when Ms Beer’s Black Pig smallgoods were found not to be made from Berkshire pork as stated on the labelling.
Barham farmer Lauren Mathers of Bundarra Berkshires said such negative publicity was ‘‘bringing the whole industry down’’.
‘‘Saskia Beer is a name we all sort of trust. People put so much trust in labels. We as an industry lose a bit of trust when this happens and that’s a shame,’’ Mrs Mathers said.
She and husband Lachy sell their farm-raised Berkshire pork from their on-farm butcher’s shop, at farmers’ markets, online and through their local IGA supermarket.
The Mathers have just built a dry-curing room to complement the butchery, and were preparing for a ‘Hog Fest’ last weekend.
Further south at McIvor Farms at Tooboorac, Berkshire farmer Belinda Hagen did not wish to comment on the Beer case.
But in general terms, she said customers were taking the information provided on labelling as honest and truthful, ‘‘particularly if you are direct marketing’’.
‘‘We like to think there is a taste difference; it depends on how processed it is,’’ Mrs Hagen said.
‘‘From a fresh pork point of view, our pigs have black hair in the pork skin.’’
Black pig breeds, which include Berkshire pigs, are heritage breeds. Berkshire pork is known for its texture and flavour due to a higher fat-to-meat ratio than white pig breeds.
In the Saskia Beer judgment the ACCC found:
‘‘Between about December 9, 2010 and May 28, 2013, Barossa Farm Produce made various representations that the pork used in its Black Pig smallgoods was from heritage Berkshire pigs, or other heritage black pig breeds; and/or free range pigs, when that was not the case.’’
A statement made on the websites www.saskiabeer.com and www.barossafarmproduce.com that ‘‘we know the origin of every animal that makes its way onto the plate’’ in relation to the pork smallgoods was also misleading, the ACCC found ‘‘as Barossa Farm Produce did not in fact know the origin of every animal used in those products’’.
‘‘A business must not make claims about the characteristics of its products when it has no reasonable basis for doing so,’’ ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
Mr Sims said Ms Beer’s company had accepted an undertaking to not mislead customers again and would be forced to publish a corrective notice on its website.
In a statement last week Ms Beer apologised and described the use of white pork as a miscommunication on the part of her supplier.
BREAKING: Emergency services are at the scene of a two-car crash involving four people in Shepparton east.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons A grade netball team has fallen agonisingly short of winning the 2015 Ovens and Murray Premiership against Wodonga after staging a great final quarter fightback.
There is a new police sergeant in Mooroopna and his name is Gerard Warrin.
RESIDENTS are being asked to get behind McHappy Day next week, which hopes to raise more than $3.4 million for Ronald McDonald House Charities.
ROCHESTER Historical and Pioneer Society boasts one of the finest local history museums in country Victoria.
Bombers prepare for GVFL Grand Final
Hundreds flock to Avenel to learn a thing or three.
Tocumwal Lions Club has plans to purchase the Bowling Club site for an aged care facility, which will only happen if the merger between the Tocumwal bowls and golf clubs proceeds.
A NASTY run-in with a kangaroo on the Northern Hwy between Melbourne and Echuca has convinced one regular traveller on the road the question of a cull needs to be addressed.
Three Cobram teens have been arrested by police after they allegedly stole tractors from Cobram and Tocumwal and caused about $30 000 in damage.
Whether you fancy a flutter on the Caulfield Cup or the local cup, the Deniliquin racecourse is the place to be on Saturday, October 17.
Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited Chairman John Wilson said the conclusion of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in Atlanta, USA, was a small but significant step forward for the dairy sector.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.