By Bill Luckey, Chair of the NPB International Marketing Committee and Pork Producer from Columbus, NE

In May, leaders from around the world will gather to discuss issues impacting global meat markets (beef, pork and lamb) and international marketing at the World Meat Congress (WMC). The WMC is a biennial conference, held in a major meat-producing country, bringing together 700 of the world’s meat industry thought leaders.

At this event, leaders come together to exchange ideas and share strategies to overcome international marketing hurdles. This conference provides a historic opportunity to gather critical insights and showcase the superiority of U.S. pork production to key international customers. The Checkoff is working hard to ensure that U.S. pork is at the center of the plate, and the minds of everyone in attendance.

Bill Luckey, NE pork producer

For the first time, the National Pork Board (NPB) has included international marketing as one of its four focused organizational goals for the year. This critical inclusion is a recognition of the important role strategic international marketing will play in U.S. producer profitability during 2018 and the ability of our industry to sustainably grow in the future. Being a significant sponsor of WMC is an important strategy in reaching this goal.

During WMC, U.S. pork will be featured in the following ways:

  • Pork being prominently featured in several meals including the opening reception and a pork-themed luncheon;
  • A booth where NPB staff will feature the quality of U.S. pork and share the We Care® and sustainability story of U.S. pig farmers; and
  • Keynote speakers hand-selected by NPB and USMEF leadership to discuss emerging issues.

The goal of this event is for international marketing committee members to network and build relationships to elevate our international marketing efforts. The conversations that will take place at WMC will assist the Checkoff in developing key strategies to grow new markets and increase demand for pork in existing ones.

But beyond that, the real “meat” of this event lies in the relationships we’re seeking to build and the conversations we’re hoping to have. It’s about networking and adding new connections to our already impressive reserve of contacts, and gleaning valuable information that can help both NPB and USMEF continue to expand export opportunities and market products abroad in unique and interesting ways.

The insights we’ll gain from conversations at the WMC will help inform key strategies of forecasting and identifying future international consumers and their preferences in a growing effort to lead the charge and corner new markets while increasing consumer demand for pork in existing ones.

The stakes are high for this historic event, but the members of the Pork Checkoff International Marketing Committee, staff and the USMEF stand ready to “bring home the bacon.”