As Kiwis order their Christmas ham, they're being urged to check the pork is actually from New Zealand.
Almost 41,000 metric tonnes (MT) of pork has been imported from 31 countries so far during 2021.
Most will be further processed in New Zealand, and some will be masquerading as Kiwi-grown, chief executive of NZPork David Baines said.
"One of the realities that we face in our pork sector is that 60 per cent of our total consumption comes from imports," he told The Country's Rowena Duncum.
Their product labels highlight the New Zealand manufacturer - rather than the actual origin of the pork.
These labels often feature "made in New Zealand" descriptions with "from local and imported ingredients" - sometimes in the fine print.
"People will say it's produced in New Zealand but is it produced from New Zealand-raised pork, or is it from imported pork?" Baines said.
"There's a lack of clarity on the labelling."
NZPork was encouraging consumers to keep an eye out for its own labelling system to make sure they knew where the product came from.
Customers should look for "Pig care born and raised in New Zealand" or "100% New Zealand ham" labels, Baines said.
"If you see either of those two labels on your pack, you can be very confident that you're eating a quality New Zealand ham and you're supporting a New Zealand farmer."
Meanwhile, a setback in Country of Origin food labelling was not helping the situation, Baines said.
"It's been further delayed until February next year. We don't really understand why."
NZPork's market research showed consumers wanted to know where their food came from, so Country of Origin labels "seemed like a no-brainer," Baines said.
The regulations were originally going to be implemented in May last year but had been delayed because of Covid-19.
However, this was a time when Kiwis wanted to support New Zealand businesses, Baines said.
New Zealand's pork sector also operated to high welfare and environmental standards compared to many other countries, Baines said.
"It's particularly frustrating and disappointing for our New Zealand producers. We clearly care for our animals and we want to produce a very safe product for our consumers."
Baines said it was unfair for the Government to impose animal welfare standards on New Zealand producers but not apply the same criteria to imports.
"How is that delivering the outcome that they say New Zealanders deserve? We just can't understand it."