IT's official. Australia's best Christmas ham is being produced by Steve and Stacey Young and the team at Noosa Meat Centre in Noosaville.
Noosa Meat's Artisan bone in ham was selected from 140 entries in the prestigious annual Australian PorkMark Ham Awards.
The Youngs credit their win with using 100 per cent Australian pork.
"Every ham is produced individually by hand, not a machine and that makes a significant difference," Mr Young said.
"I'm a huge believer in championing Australian and this shows in the final product.
"Buying Australian keeps my staff in a job, our farmers in production and to be honest, the pork raised here is perfect. I will always support local growers."
Gray's Modern Meat Mart, Toowoomba, also performed well, taking third place nationally for its bone-in ham, plus a second place for its bone-in and third for its boneless in the state competition.
Sunvalley Fine Foods at Warana on the Sunshine Coast took top honours in the Queensland boneless category, with Mirrabooka Pork, Camp Hill, second. Rounding out the state's top three for bone-in hams was Toowoomba's Westridge Meats.
The Australian pork industry is also using the festive season to highlight the fact that the majority of hams sold in Australia are made from imported pork.
Australian Pork Limited marketing communications manager Mitch Edwards said while sustainable, local and ethical ingredients were important considerations for consumers, taste and value for money reign king.
"We want to specifically call this out as unless consumers are aware, they may not actively be looking for Australian at point of purchase," Mr Edwards said.
"When it comes to ham, if it's on the bone, then it's one of our own.
"However, if you're buying a boneless ham, look for an almost full bar chart on the packaging to be sure your ham is made from 100 per cent Australian pork."
Entries is this year's awards were assessed on appearance, aroma, form and taste.
National - Bone in: 1. Noosa Meat Centre, Noosa. 2. Andrew's Choice Smokehouse, Laverton North, Vic. 3. Gray's Modern Meat Mart, Toowoomba. Boneless: 1. Griffin & Morris Village Butchers, Berwick, Vic. 2. Premier Meats, Tenterfield, NSW. 3. Hunter Valley Meat Emporium, Pitnacree, NSW.
Nationally available: 1. D'Orsogna, Australian Jarrah Honey Ham. 2. IGA Naturally Smoked Leg Ham.
Queensland - Bone in: 1. Noosa Meat Centre, Noosa. 2. Gray's Modern Meat Mart, Toowoomba. 3. Westridge Meats, Toowoomba. Boneless: 1. Sunvalley Fine Foods, Warana. 2. Mirrabooka Pork, Camp Hill. Gray's Modern Meat Mart, Toowoomba.