Promoting pork here and abroad is a team effort. David Newman, senior vice president of market growth for the National Pork Board, says their partnership with the U.S. Meat Export Federation is vital to pork’s success.
Newman says, “That is an understatement about how massive this partnership that we have using USMEF as one of our primary contractors is on behalf of pork checkoff and U.S. pork producers because something great for everyone to understand is through our partnership with USMEF that has a global reach in more than 25 countries around the world. That’s boots on the ground in more than 25 countries. So, whether it is Chile to Hong Kong to Africa, and potentially in our future markets, those are key markets and helping us understand the culture, the environment, the business environment, and how we go out there.”
He says the partnership is a great way to maximize the use of checkoff dollars to promote the product. Newman, “We’re able to take checkoff dollars and leverage them with USMEF through the USDA Market Access Program, the MAP funds, and we literally can leverage those dollars at a one-to-one ratio in international market development with USMEF. So, for example, if we put $5 million into international market development, we can leverage that, USMEF can leverage that, with map funding, and we can turn that five into $10 million to go out and to market deployment. So, it is a very close relationship we have between the staff at USMEF and our staff at the Pork Board on international market development.”
It would be a lot more difficult to promote pork without working together according to Newman. He says, “Who knows where we would be, but we wouldn’t be where we are today. We’ve gone from being a net importer to a net exporter. And you mentioned that number is growing, and it has been growing exponentially for years. In 2023, we’re going to get very close to 30 percent export of total production, and that’s been a shining star on value for our U.S. pork producers and has helped prop up some of the prices in this business. And I think for a producer, they might say prices still aren’t very good, you know, in these challenging times. I can assure you it’d be much worse without having that export partnership we have with USMEF.”
The work is paying off as the U.S. pork label is easily recognized overseas.
Newman says, “Yeah, that’s right. This U.S. pork brand is very recognizable. And it’s interesting in markets, especially in Asia, U.S. Pork has a great reputation abroad as being safe and high-quality, and where we market U.S. pork, that is actually a trademark logo that we use on behalf of pork producers that’s managed by National Pork Board, by our staff. We get brand recognition, and then we also see an uptick in sales, and that’s what this is about. Whether it’s being marketed in South Korea, Japan, or Taiwan, it’s a recognizable piece, and it’s a part of our relationship. It’s all about what we can do for producers.”
Story provided by NAFB News Service and Susan Littlefield, KRVN/Rural Radio Network, Lexington, Nebraska