Up to the Challenge

The pork industry chalked up some pretty impressive achievements last year. Some of these successes included the launch of the Common Swine Industry Audit, exports that again topped $6 billion, key research findings to help fight PEDV and creative new ways to share today’s pork production methods with consumers.

Also last year, real per capita pork expenditures were up 15.7 percent from 2009 levels, soundly surpassing the goal outlined in the Pork Checkoff’s 2010-2014 strategic plan for a 10 percent bump over the five-year period. Focusing on “pork champions” and introducing the Pork Be inspired® integrated marketing campaign played a major role in meeting – and exceeding – the aggressive goal.

While it’s good to take time to reflect on these accomplishments and others from 2014, pork producers continue to ask: What’s next? How can we improve animal care and sustainability? How can we better serve our customers? How can we build trust with the public?

To help answer these questions, the Pork Checkoff implemented a new strategic plan in January that will guide new programs and initiatives through 2020. Focused on anticipating and managing the changing world facing U.S. pork producers, the new vision is to “elevate U.S. pork as the global protein of choice by continuously and collaboratively working to do what’s right for people, pigs and the planet.”

This is not an easily achievable task. But with pork producers’ long history of perseverance and determination, we can be sure that the industry is up to the challenge and poised for success.

– Jan Jorgensen, Editor