In a bid to help struggling pork producers, the USA’s National Pork Board (NPB) has approved additional funding to promote the sector.
Due to record feed prices, caused by the worst drought in the US since the 1950s, the NPB has given the go-ahead for domestic and international marketing budgets to help drive pork demand at a critical time.
The board will give nearly US$30m in 2013 to help boost domestic marketing, along with a further US$7m for international marketing efforts, which should help to slow producer losses forecast for next year. An additional US$2m will also be added to help marketing this year.
NPB president Conley Nelson said: “Pork is great value in the grocery store today for consumers, but we know we face challenges in the year ahead. As pork prices rise next year, because of reduced pork supplies, supporting ‘thePork Be inspired’ advertising and promotional campaign is going to be important in moving more pork. During the first quarter of 2013, the Checkoff [the NPB’s official website] is working to feature pork at retail, in foodservice and online for a short-term, measurable impact for farmers.
“The board added more funding for domestic promotional support to ensure that we can continue to build upon the success of ‘thePork Be inspiredcampaign’. The campaign has been able to grow its target audience – consumers who are medium-to-heavy fresh-pork eaters – from 30% of US households to 35%.”
Data has shown that consumption of fresh pork is holding steady among the majority of consumers. Consumption data for September showed the amount of money spent per US consumer on pork this year was the highest of any month since 2004. Additionally, a Pork Checkoff tracking study from 1 June showed that 2,000 US households served pork three times in the previous two weeks before the survey.
US pork exports are on track to reach sales similar to those in 2011, which equated to US$6.108bn in value and 4.97bn lb in volume. Export value is at more than US$56 per head.
Nelson added: “Farmers have come to depend on export markets. Investing additional dollars into international marketing programmes will allow the Pork Checkoff to expand US Meat Export Federation promotions, as well as to fund research to continue to keep export markets open and look at new market opportunities.”