The USDA’s September quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report confirmed continued but moderate growth for the U.S. pork production sector. Along with confirming this trend, the report also solidified three others that have shaped the pork industry in 2017. Whether these trends continue and to what degree will determine producer success in 2018 and beyond.
The National Pork Board has been involved with producer-led meat quality projects and initiatives for more than 25 years. The unchanging goal has been to create more value for all segments of the pork chain by producing a better product for consumers.
For the National Pork Board, 2017 has been a year where individual pieces of the puzzle to improve consumers’ overall pork eating experience have come together. Quality, new pork cuts nomenclature and a recommended lower endpoint cooking temperature are the keys to giving the U.S. pork industry needed momentum to boost domestic and international demand.
The Pork Checkoff is putting a new twist on sharing pork meal ideas with consumers through a unique recipe partnership with Yummly that will launch in December. The move is part of Checkoff efforts to upgrade its digital footprint.
It’s no secret that the U.S. protein industry is in expansion mode. With pork production expected to be up more than 12 percent in 2017, Pork Checkoff staff and leadership spent the summer defining today’s pork demand “landscape.”
Animal care, environmental sustainability and responsible antibiotic use are all questions consumers have about today’s pork production.
More than 2.3 billion active social media accounts are being used across the globe, according to Brandwatch.com. A lot of people are having conversations online, and some of those people want to learn more about what happens on today’s pig farms.
While urban consumers enjoy bacon, pork chops and other pork products, most have never met a pig farmer. Earlier this year, the Pork Checkoff launched a new video series to remedy that. The Secret Lives of Pig Farmers videos can be found on the Checkoff’s #RealPigFarming YouTube channel.
What about GMO corn and pigs? Why do pig farmers use antibiotics? What happens to manure?
What if you had to answer tough questions like these? That is exactly the kind of challenge the Pork Checkoff’s Operation Main Street (OMS) volunteer speakers do not shy away from. In fact, OMS speakers – from pig farmers to veterinarians – actively seek new audiences, including key influencers such as dietitians, chefs, grocer associations and nurses.
With a clearer vision on on how to elevate U.S. pork as the global protein of choice, National Pork Board officers and senior leaders recently returned from an Asian trade mission. Representing the Pork Checkoff, the team visited with pork processors, distributors, retailers, importers and traders in Japan and China. Asian team members of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) accompanied the group.