North Island farmer Jim Mather takes great pride in “growing fantastic animals” on his farm near Foxton – but he was still surprised to find a ham from one of his pigs had won the highly coveted Supreme Award in the 2022 100% New Zealand Bacon and Ham Awards.
Auckland’s Westmere Butchery won New Zealand’s best ham award for their bone-in leg ham, but a journey back along the supply chain to discover the provenance of the champion ham, leads to Jim Mather’s family farm.
“We know it’s fantastic pork – because our pigs want for nothing,” says Jim.
“But you don’t usually get a lot of validation for your product as a farmer. We really appreciate that the winner made a point of making sure we knew it was one of ours – we’re absolutely delighted.”
Jim employs five full time staff and says they are critical to the comfort and welfare of the pigs and the quality of the pork.
“They are so hard-working and dedicated to the welfare of the animals, we have a great team who are very skilled and experienced at what they do. Winning the Supreme Award is a real feather in their caps.”
Auckland’s Westmere Butchery – no stranger to awards having taken out many awards at the Great New Zealand Sausage Competition over the years – was delighted with the result and attributed their success to the perfect recipe of ingredients.
Owner of Westmere Butchery, Dave Rossiter, said: “It takes a team effort to create an award winning ham, and one of the most important members of the team is the farmer who is producing the raw ingredients. From the care they take with their animals, to the quality of the end product that arrives in our shop – we are proud to support the New Zealand pig industry and showcase their product.”
A full list of all award-winning hams from the 100% New Zealand Bacon & Ham Awards is available here.