A RUSH to share meat caught and farmed close to home this festive season is pushing fish sellers and butchers' sales to new heights.
Rock lobster is about $50 a kilo cheaper than it was last Christmas with one fisherman describing orders as "flat knacker" while a Warrnambool butcher said ham sales had doubled simply from people seeking out local products.
Lucas Brothers owner Peter Harris said the store had sold about 250 of its Great Ocean Road Smallgoods hams, which the Warrnambool butcher, in Victoria's south west, makes using Otway pork.
"This year with the coronavirus, people have gone back to traditional shopping methods due to when supermarkets weren't able to provide the quantity people were asking for early in the year," Mr Harris said.
"When you provide a product people are happy with they are going to come back every day of the week."
He said meat sales were up 25 per cent overall but double the usual number of hams and pork and turkey roasts were being sold.
"There has been a lot more emphasis for people to support Australian-made products," Mr Harris said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
An Australian pork industry survey prior to Christmas found 62 per cent of the 1000 respondents focused more on buying local products in the past year.
Australian Pork Limited chief Margo Andrae said most pork sold in stores was imported but Australian pork had become more affordable this Christmas.
Meanwhile Victorian rock lobster is selling out in minutes at south-west outlets as the price per kilo plummets from about $120 last Christmas to $70 this year amid China trade tensions.
Port Campbell rock lobster fisher Simon Nash and partner Milly have sold their catch through word of mouth and from a shack in the south west Victorian town this week.
"We have literally been thrown in the deep end," Ms Nash said of the retail operation.
"We're cooking them at home. We have a cool room and people are taking orders."
She pointed out some supermarkets were now selling crayfish for $20 a kilo but Victorian rock lobster was a different product.
"Ours are worldwide renowned, if you're not in the industry you might not know they're a different fish," Ms Nash said.
The limited product that was not on order sold out within five minutes from a shack in the afternoons, Ms Nash said. "I only just got down there and had to set up everything and there were long lines," she said.
Mr Nash said he was "just glad all the fish were going" after selling about 500 kilos this week.
"There are people saying they just haven't been able to justify buying one in the past but now they can and they are loving it," he said.
But Mr Nash was concerned sales would drop after the Christmas rush.
"As soon as we get through this celebration period, who knows what will happen."