SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 30: Bloodwood co-owner and head chef Claire Van Vuuren prepares take away meals inside her Newtown restaurant on March 30, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. Australian pork farmers have partnered with restaurants around Australia to offer free meals to hospitality workers as the COVID-19 pandemic affects their businesses and livelihoods. Hospo4Hospo initiative aims to have pop up nights hosted by different restaurants and support those in the food service industry by offering a free meal to take away and a chance to connect with others impacted by the current crisis. (Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images,)

The Australian pork industry has been working to support hospitality workers via Hospo4Hopso over the past months, but as restaurants reopen, the initiative is not ending, it’s pivoting.

The Australian pork industry launched Hospo4Hospo in March, partnering with restaurants around the country to offer hospitality workers free pork meals, a smile and socially distanced chat, but from today, the initiative will provide pork to venues as they reopen.

Australian Pork Limited (APL) CEO, Margo Andrae, said while COVID-19 restrictions were easing, the foodservice sector has had a tough few months and recovery will take time.

“Venues have been pleased to welcome back diners as restrictions ease, state by state, but while this is welcome news for hungry Aussies who had missed dining out, the reality is still challenging for many outlets and their staff,” said Andrae.

“The Australian pork industry initiated Hospo4Hospo in March to give back to an industry that has supported us through the good times and bad and it was well received. However, as staff are starting to get back to work, it’s now important to support venues as they get back up and running.

“Through our foodservice programs, we’ll be working with restaurants around the country and providing great tasting, versatile Australian pork, for them to serve to their diners.”

This secures the future of Hospo4Hospo for a further 10 weeks, with venues supported to add pork cuts to their menus, including ribs and bellies.

“This initiative is a win-win in a difficult time,” said Andrae.

“For the restaurants, it’s free product which helps their bottom line as they continue to respond to governments’ changing restrictions and a very different market.

“For the Australian pork industry, foodservice represents about 25% of sales and this initiative supports restaurants as they reopen and helps ensure Australian pork is on menus.”

The Australian pork industry employs 35,000 people and supply continued throughout the COVID-19 disruption.

When foodservice restrictions were enacted, the supply chain was disrupted and farmgate prices weakened, but this has shown signs of stabilising.

Australian Pork has provided resources, support and advice to industry friends and partners throughout its programs and will continue to support the industry as it recovers.

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