The National Pork Board (NPB) on Aug. 14 announced a study that will explore alternatives for promoting pork's quality and sustainability benefits with international consumers. The study, to be conducted by SIAM Professionals LLC, will evaluate existing marketing strategies and partners to identify methods for improving pork's position as the global meat of choice.
Funded through America's Pork Checkoff, this project will evaluate the effectiveness of current global marketing efforts and identify potential partnerships and marketing tools for promoting U.S. pork. SIAM specializes in evaluating and developing international market opportunities for the food and agribusiness industry.
"Throughout the world, pork is the single most consumed meat. The popularity of U.S. pork is driven by its taste, versatility as a recipe and menu item, and affordable cost," saysChris Novak, NPB chief executive officer. "For many years, pork has been marketed globally with all other meats, and it's our intention to determine the ideal way to market U.S. pork on an international basis. It is part of our ongoing commitment to examine all of our Pork Checkoff programs to ensure continuous improvement."
According to Euromonitor International's latest estimates, global pork sales are expected to grow by 12% in the 2013-18 forecast period, adding 10.6 million metric tons in sales volume by 2018. Most of this increase will be seen in emerging markets, such as Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America where populations and incomes continue to grow. In the first six months of 2014, exports increased 9% from the same time period a year ago, according to current data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service. Most of the gains are due to growth in Mexico and continued demand in Asia.
The NPB is committed to addressing the international trade barriers facing the pork industry. Currently, the United States exports approximately 28% of the pork raised here, delivering around $70 per animal raised back to America's pig farmers.
"In 2013, the U.S. sold pork in more than 100 countries. International markets represent a significant sales channel and, grown properly, will be critical to the success of pig farmers across the country," Novak said. "As an industry, we must remain keenly focused on developing global markets and effectively promoting pork worldwide."
The Pork Checkoff's International Trade activities are overseen by the Checkoff's Board of Directors and a 23-member International Trade Committee from throughout the United States. The committee's mission is focused on:
- Research: Conducting technical and economic research and market analysis to prove or dispute non-scientific barriers to international trade.
- Market Access: Seeking and pursuing all legitimate avenues to market U.S. pork worldwide.
- Market Development: Defining key target markets and creating promotion and education outreach opportunities with importers and consumers.
The NPB has funded international market development activities through the U.S. Meat Export Federation for more than 25 years and is interested in further expanding how U.S. pork is marketed on a worldwide basis. SIAM will investigate the potential for a revised or complementary approach, developing systems with a focus on identifying new and emerging markets, incorporating new messages, and more effectively measuring results.
"Our farmers, staff, contractors and others involved in U.S. pork production look forward to using insights gleaned from SIAM's analysis in shaping and sharing pork's story with our international consumers," Novak says. "We plan to engage our entire industry in this process of global market review."
Results of SIAM's evaluation will be presented to Pork Checkoff's full board of directors in spring 2015.