It is commonly known that Maltese pork is better in quality than imported pork. Whether this is due solely to the local climate, or whether other factors are involved, we cannot really say. But the fact remains that most people who try Maltese pork can taste the difference, and never go back to imported pork if they can avoid it. However, local pork cannot really compete with pork from abroad when it comes to price. This is for several reasons:
Importation of Feeds
Very little cereal farming occurs in Malta, due to the lack of land, so almost all the food fed to Maltese pigs has to be brought in from abroad, at great expense to the farmer. In addition, breeding pigs themselves must sometimes be brought in from abroad to keep the local herd up to international quality and efficiency standards.
Water Costs, Energy Costs and Scale
Malta’s high costs of electricity and water and the small size of each farmer’s herd make it nearly impossible for a Maltese farmer to produce pork as cheaply as a farmer in Spain or Germany.
Insufficient Product Differentiation
While the Maltese farmer and butcher are trying to sell genuine fresh pork, most of the pork imported from abroad has been injected with added water. So what you are paying for as pork can actually be as much as 40% water, and the water you are buying subsidises the price of the meat. Therefore, the product seems a lot cheaper.
Unfortunately, current laws make it impossible to force meat sellers to clearly label pork as fresh or imported, so it is often difficult for the consumer to know which they are buying. This is one of the main reasons why KIM Ltd intend to invest in a processing plant, and produce a line of 100% pork products in which the consumer can have faith. Until then, all one can do is specifically ask their butcher or restauranteur for FRESH, LOCAL pork.