Bangalow Sweet Pork

Multi-award winning pork with unbeatable flavour and tenderness

This is old-fashioned pork, the way pork should taste. 

Bangalow Sweet Pork is dripping with unsaturated fat that creates the foundation of their unique flavour and unmatched tenderness.  Cook it over a spit for an Argentinian style barbeque, roasted over charcoal and iron bark. Roast a succulent pork shoulder low and slow for tender, falling-off-the-bone meat. 

But first, know the story that makes Bangalow Sweet Pork so exceptional… 

Deliciously ethical pork

Knowing a product is ethically produced makes it all the more delicious. When it comes to Bangalow Sweet Pork, rest assured that the product is coming from pigs that live a healthy and happy existence. 

Bangalow Sweet Pork is supplied by small Australian family farms with strict quality assurance programs that ensure the health and happiness of every pig on the property. Three accredited farms produce Bangalow Sweet Pork, each with eco-shelters that give their pigs room to roam and play with lots of shade, hay, and water. 

Animal welfare is as important to these producers as the taste of their incredible pork. Computers are used to monitor every animal, and they place a huge focus on avoiding stress at any time during the lifecycle of their pigs. Stress is not only unpleasant for the animal, which they deeply revere for its ability to feed and nourish us, but also affects the quality of the final product.

Antibiotic free with no added hormones in their products since the day of inception, Bangalow Sweet Pork comes from healthy, happy pigs that know the feeling of roaming freely under the sun and enjoying a pleasant life – the way all animals deserve. 

Disillusionment, lean pork, and a Pork Pioneer

Let’s travel back to the late 1990s. The pork scene wasn’t looking so promising. 

People had a growing obsession with ‘lean meats’ and a fear of fat. The fat content in pork had halved over the last 25 years and quality was reduced to just one parameter – a lack of fat. Growers were being paid more money to produce lean pork, which was considered the pinnacle of a pork product. Other quality traits of an exceptional product, like moistness or tenderness, were pushed aside. Lean was in and lean was what the market wanted. Or did it? 

Per capita consumption rates of pork were falling. People started commenting that the pork they were buying was flavourless and tough. Food critics were appalled at the quality of pork in the Australian market. Considering that fat is where all the flavour is, that was no real surprise. 

Enter Joe ‘The Pork Pioneer’ Byrne, a pork producer and member of the Sydney Morning Herald ‘Sydney Magazine’ Food Hall of Fame. Joe knew his food and he knew his pork, and he had grown deeply illusioned with the pork industry and where it seemed to be headed. What kind of world favours tasteless, dry pork over mouth-watering, fatty pork that’s tender and juicy? 

The final push came from a disgruntled Italian client who asked Joe if he could do better. He banded together with a group of like-minded pork lovers and the courageous crew decided to buck the convention and start producing the best quality pork in Australia… and so Bangalow Sweet Pork was born. 

A mission to put the fat and flavour back into pork

Despite his nickname, ‘The Pork Pioneer’, Joe and his crew didn’t seek out to innovate the pork industry – quite the opposite, in fact. They were on a mission to take the pork industry back 25 years, when it was focused on quality and flavour over fat profile. 

Once he set his sights on bringing authentic, delicious pork back into the market, Joe turned to his partner, Jim Berting. Jim started working on the breeding and feeding aspects to bring fat and marbling back into pig meat. To make the fat content of their pork ‘healthier’, Jim worked on raising the level of good unsaturated fats to be almost ⅔ of the total fat content (about 60% according to CSIRO testing). 

This fat profile is the foundation of Bangalow Sweet Pork’s unique flavour and tender, moist meat. The team turned the accepted industry wisdom on its head, and have inspired many new boutique producers to follow in their footsteps… 

But there can only be one Bangalow Sweet Pork. 

Pork like this lingers on the palate and sticks in your memory

The unwavering passion and dedication by Joe Byrne and his crew have made Bangalow Sweet Pork a brand that sticks in people’s memories. When you taste that juicy, flavoursome pork, you don’t just forget it. You want more. And more. And over time, Bangalow Sweet Pork has become synonymous with the highest quality pork offered in Australia, a favourite of chefs, food critics, and consumers alike. 

Bangalow Sweet Pork has gotten so popular, in fact, that other producers are trying to copy their approach with imitation pork products. But nothing quite matches the success and exceptional flavour that Bangalow Sweet Pork has nailed. Joe Byrne is looking to implement DNA testing to track Bangalow pigs and weed out the imitators and is also planning on accreditation for restaurants that serve his products.

Because, like we said, there can only be one Bangalow Sweet Pork. 

Multi-award winning pork with unbeatable flavour and tenderness

In a New York Times review, world-renowned food critic, R.W. Apple Jr. called Bangalow Sweet Pork “Australia’s finest”. Matt Kemp of Restaurant Balzac says, “If I put the word Bangalow on the menu, it walks out the door”. 

​​Colin Fassnidge of La Grande Bouffe in Rozelle, gushes about Bangalow Sweet Pork’s moister flesh and superior crackling. He serves it in a confit of pork belly with cabbage puree, apple sauce, and red wine juice. 

Celebrity chef Matt Moran raves about Bangalow Sweet Pork and says it’s producing some of the best pork Australia has seen in a long, long time. “In many ways”, he says, “Bangalow has changed a lot of people’s thinking about pork and put it back on the map”. Moran uses Bangalow Sweet Pork in his own take of confit of pork belly, with caramelised apple and balsamic. 

Pino Tomini Foresti, the Master of Master Butchers and owner of Pino’s Dolce Vita (dubbed Australia’s most outstanding foodstore – and also one of CHEFIN’s proud producers), named Bangalow Sweet Pork “the best quality pork in Australia by far”. He uses it to produce salami, prosciutto, coppa, pancetta, and hams by hand. 

“I had my brother from Italy here about 18 months ago who had some of their pork chops on the BBQ”, says Pino. “He said, ‘Do you know this is better than the pork in Italy?'”.

Read about some of the exclusive & most passionate producers in Australia in CHEFIN’s team deep dive into New South Wale’s best producers.