Meat theft is on the rise across Australia, including in Victoria, according to data released by retail crime intelligence platform Auror.
Auror found meat theft increased by 85 per cent between 2022 and 2023 with major retailers such as Coles, Woolworths and Bunnings targeted.
The platform recorded more than 67,000 incidents of meat theft nationally last year with pork the most commonly stolen meat reported.
The data revealed that red meat was the go-to product for would-be thieves, over cheaper poultry cuts.
Pork was the most popular meat to steal, with thefts increasing by 35pc last year, followed by lamb with a 31pc increase and beef with 15pc.
Auror chief customer officer Rhod Thomas said the majority of the meat theft in 2023 was carried out by organised, professional individuals.
"These people are stealing for a day job - literally putting the uniform on to go steal every day, hitting multiple retailers," he said.
He said that along with meat, other high value items in supermarkets such as baby formula and manuka honey were targeted by thieves.
In 2022, Victoria Police arrested an individual who was driving a van with stolen lamb, salmon and prawns, valued at about $2000.
Mr Thomas said the Auror theft reporting platform, used by retailer clients, was aiding police efforts to clamp down on the food theft activity.