The Byron Bay region is famed for its laidback lifestyle and beaches, but now it can add the east coast’s best pork to that list, thanks to John Singh from Byron Bay Pork.
Australian Pork Limited’s Steak Your Claim competition attracted entries from across the country and sought to find Australia’s best pork. Byron Bay Pork took out second place in the competition, with first and third awarded to Western Australian pig farmers.
‘They found the Byron Bay Pork, which had Berkshire marbling and had been fed a special mixed grain diet, was one of the best.
John Singh’s family have run pigs for many years, initially showing pure Landrace and winning trophies, selling the pork to local butchers and wholesalers.
However, John first began using Berkshires in 2000, when he was selling into the Japanese market, before introducing them for the domestic market in 2005. He found Berkshire pork met a demand for quality pork through people like Gerry Harvey’s Security Foods and Vic’s Meats, which supplied it to high-end restaurants.
Byron Bay Pork now uses an F1 (Landrace and Large White cross), crossed with Berkshire to make a good pork with Berkshire traits that’s more affordable.
Byron Bay Pork has 250 sows that are fed a diet formulated by John Sprag that is a mix of grains and a bit of macadamia meal. Male pigs are castrated and the pigs are processed at Booyong. Byron Bay Pork has its own butchers, Byron Pork and Meats, and sells about 100 pigs per week, mostly to the Sydney market.
Judges said the pork had a little marbling and good even grain, and when cooked was sweet and tender, which was very pleasing for Byron Bay Pork’s John Singh.
‘Competitions like this are very important for us, as they help benchmark us against other products and, of course, help develop our brand,’ he said.
‘We have about 250 sows now and 80 per cent of our pork goes into the Sydney restaurant market, with the remainder sold locally. We’ve been using Berkshires for a while now, as people discovered that this pork is moist and with a more appealing texture.’
The pigs with a million dollar view. Photo Jeff ‘That’s not fat that’s marbling’ Dawson.