Entries are now open for the 100% New Zealand (NZ) Bacon & Ham Competition, and top butchers are encouraging their peers to enter. From the tastiest rasher to the most succulent slice of ham, the competition attracts butchers and retailers nationwide who will put their craft to the test on July 10.

The 100% NZ Bacon & Ham Competition celebrates New Zealand’s finest cured pork products and helps customers identify and appreciate home-grown, sustainable bacon and ham. It supports New Zealand’s pig farmers, who raise pork solely for the local market.

This year an exciting new category has been introduced -- the 100% New Zealand Innovative Pork Product. Butchers will be given the chance to display their most inventive pork product, whether it’s skin on, skinless, boneless, bone out, cured or pickled. Entrants will be judged on the commercial viability of the product, whether the product is logical in its production, its appeal to the market place, practicality for cooking and serving and the all-important innovation.


An independent panel of 33 judges - leading chefs, food connoisseurs and master butchers - will blind-taste each entry to select the best bacon and ham. Judging under international rules focuses on aroma, texture, appearance, saltiness, sweetness and overall tastiness.

The Independent Meat Processors in Christchurch took home last year’s 100% NZ Bacon of the Year award. Owner Tom Coughlan says the win has made a huge difference to their business. The winning butchers value the increased exposure and business opportunities that come from being a winner in the competition.

Back for a fourth year, the Peoples’ Choice Award 2015 will give the public a chance to “TXT-tovote” for their favorite bacon- and ham-making butcher using 100% NZ pork. Look for the Peoples’ Choice Award posters at your local butcher now. All entrants to the 100% NZ Bacon & Ham Competition are given automatic entry into the Peoples’ Choice Award. Entries for the 100% NZ Bacon & Ham Competition close on June 19.