PSA: There is a Christmas ham and pork shortage

Butchers are warning customers that stocks are getting lower on the traditional Christmas ham and pork products this year. Demand

Butchers are warning customers that stocks are getting lower on the traditional Christmas ham and pork products this year.

Demand is increasing across the country, and our abattoirs and butchers are struggling to keep up.

Customers are being warned they may have to pay $1-$4 a kilo more for the Christmas table staple, as fewer shoppers are opting for beef, sending demand for pork through the roof.

Tasman Meats chief executive officer Matt Swindells told News Corp that people who typically leave their Christmas food run to the last minute would likely miss out on a ham or roast pork joint.

“The reality is not everyone is going to get what they want,” Mr Swindells said.


“Our Traralgon store wanted 200 pigs this week but could only get 100. It’s even harder for smaller operators.”

The chain’s pork sales have soared 40 per cent this year as beef prices have soared, turning consumers to cheaper cuts.

Now some butchers are giving a cut-off for orders, and it’s coming up this week as the demand rises more and more.

In the last six months alone, pork wholesale costs have risen 25 to 30 per cent, leading to higher costs for Christmas consumers.

But it looks like that may not stop some, and if you’re put off by price you may be left empty handed this year.

Tell us, have you got your Christmas ham and meats sorted? When do you typically buy them?

  1. The question is…why? Breeders, butchers and sellers have known Christmas was coming for q whole year!

  2. don’t eat meat, that’s the simple answer.

  3. I seem to see this same message every year. What I’d like to see is ham clearly labelled identifying its point of origin. Is it reformed or natural. Labelling is very poor.

    • I was told that if the pork contains bones, it’s Australian, if boneless more likely to be imported! Don’t know if this is true!

    • Mary evidently you can buy ham on the bone which is actually shredded scraps of ham reconstituted around a bone even with a layer of skin added and sold as ham on the bone. Much of these reconstituted ham products are from the US but it is very hard to work out from labels just what you are buying.

    • It’s so easy for me as I don’t buy ham! If eating pork, I would buy a roast! At our age, we don’t eat much meat! Most often we don’t know what we’re going to eat until 20 minutes prior to eating and especially in the warmer weather! Christmas likely won’t be much different!

    • Barbara Easthope , that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard, did somebody down at the pub tell you that ?

    • No Owen I saw it on an ABC consumer show warning people about the problems for consumers buying ham. It is a revolting practice they use to get those last little scraps of meat off bones, not sure exactly how it is done but I am not sure I’d want to know if I brought products like chicken nuggets made from these scraps. That they would reconstruct it around a bone rather than as a block of meat shows the lengths manufacturers go to deceive and disguise some of the things they do.

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