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National Pork Board Undergoing New Strategic Direction

Pork Checkoff, National Pork Board
Pork Checkoff, National Pork Board

Since it was founded in 1987, the National Pork Checkoff has seen a lot of changes and is now getting ready to kick off its latest update. National Pork Checkoff 4.0 is aimed at keeping up with the changes in business, production models, and consumers.

According to President David Newman, 4.0 has an entirely different look and feel than previous iterations, focusing on the continuity and speed of the business.

“Things are moving so fast today—the adoption of technology, the changing atmosphere we have globally—looking at everything from trade, emerging markets, Generation Z, Millennial, the things at home that are changing our marketing efforts,” said Newman.

With the update, they will still be geared toward research, education and promotion. One of the things they will be focused on is being consumer-focused and producer-led.

“We have it allocated into two primary buckets,” said Newman. “Bucket one is building trust, so we have an ethical set of principles that we follow called the ‘We Care Principles,’ and that’s about being good stewards of the land, food, safety, animal welfare, and community engagement.”

The National Pork Board wants to be an outward-facing program to tell their consumers about pork’s story. The second part is the importance of building value, according to Newman.

“The added value piece is talking about the approximately 130 million hogs we produce a year,” he said. “70 percent of those are consumed domestically here in the U.S. [We’re observing] how our consumers are changing.”

There’s also a focus on international marketing and branching out to countries such as Korea, Japan, China, Mexico and Canada, and emerging markets in the future.

“What are our international markets going to look like in 2040?” said Newman. “We have a program called Pork 2040 [where we look at] who our consumers are now and who are consumers are going to be in the future. That’s important, and this new checkoff program 4.0 puts more strategic allocation onto those type of projects.”

At the end of the day, Newman wants to make sure consumers hear pork’s positive story that it’s safe and nutritious and they’re doing what they can to tell that story.