Australian pork producers facing their own set of challenging circumstances have teamed up with Coles to fight a far bigger challenge — Motor Neurone Disease.
From May 8 to June 16, 10¢ from every fresh pork product sold at Coles will be donated to FightMND, founded by AFL legend and health campaigner Neale Daniher, who was diagnosed with MND in 2013.
On average, two to three Australians are diagnosed with MND and another two to three lose the fight against the disease every day.
Once diagnosed, the average life expectancy is just 27 months — with the disease gradually taking away patients’ use of their arms and legs, their ability to eat and swallow, their speech, and ultimately their ability to breathe.
Mr Daniher’s daughter, Bec Daniher, has taken on the role of campaign director at FightMND.
“Having Coles and Aussie pork farmers rally behind us to get the message out about the fight against MND is making an impact,” she said.
“We are fighting back, we are starting to land some blows and with the public’s help, we know we will find an answer.
“The significant contribution is helping to continue to fund vital research projects in the hopes to find treatment and cure for MND.”
Linley Valley Pork general manager Peter Spackman said sales had jumped 9 per cent during the first week of the campaign, a welcome boost to WA pork producers.
Linley Valley Pork processes about 15,000 hogs a week, but some farmers had lost $50 a head on average during the worst of an oversupply crisis last year.
“The pork producers have gone through a rough 18 months … any extra meat that is bought helps the growers,” Mr Spackman said.
“Things are much better than they were six months ago.
“A lot couldn’t get the return on investment, pork prices were very low and there was a lot of pork around. Things are getting back into positive territory.”
Milne AgriGroup general manager David Plant said it was a good time for consumers to reflect on their purchase.
“An initiative like this is absolutely fantastic to not only support a fantastic cause, but also to increase pork sales,” he said.
“There was a significant uplift in sales last year, and we understand this year is on track to sell even more.”
The donation applies to about 40 different types of packs of Coles brand fresh pork, including spare ribs, sirloin steak, scotch fillet, loin chops, roasts, schnitzel, cutlets and mince.
Australian Pork Limited marketing general manager Peter Haydon said he was proud the industry was supporting the worthwhile cause.
“Proving their commitment to this campaign, Australian pork producers have also pledged to donate to FightMND during the appeal period,” he said.
“We encourage Aussies to follow in their footsteps where able.”
Coles State General Manager Pat Zanetti said he was proud to join forces with pork producers to take the fight against MND to Coles supermarket aisles.
“Customers can buy pork at Coles over the next six weeks knowing they will be not only be supporting Aussie pig producers but also supporting a very worthy cause,” he said.
“Australian pork is one of the most delicious, versatile meats to enjoy at this time of the year and the donation applies to more than 40 different types of packs of Coles Brand fresh pork sold at Coles.”
Consumers hoping to support the campaign can check for a special blue sticker on packs of fresh pork at Coles.
To find out more about MND, visit fightmnd.org.au