National Pork Board Approves Budget, New Programs for 2005

by 5m Editor
25 November 2004, at 12:00am

US - The National Pork Board has approved a $53.7 million budget for 2005 that will allow for the first major change in the pork industry’s consumer marketing program since the “Pork. The Other White Meat“ campaign was launched in 1986.

The new budget also includes support for an industry-wide effort to begin mapping the swine genome and for a producer-led effort to bolster the image of the industry in the communities where they live and work.

The budget, which also includes $12 million that goes to state pork organizations for local Pork Checkoff programs, now goes to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for final approval. The new budget year begins Jan. 1, 2005.

Bolstered by strong consumer demand for pork during 2004 both domestically and internationally, pork producers benefited from higher prices at the wholesale and retail level even in the face of record pork production. “This has been a remarkable year for pork demand,“ said Dave Culbertson, a pork producer from Geneseo, Ill., and president of the 15-member National Pork Board. “With production running at near-record levels, we wouldn’t have guessed that pork prices would remain so strong. We’re pleased that consumers are finding reasons to put more pork on their plates.“

The robust market for pork also means additional revenue is generated from the Pork Checkoff, which is tied to a percentage of pork sales. Danita Rodibaugh, a pork producer from Rensselaer, Ind., and chairman of the National Pork Board’s Budget Committee, said the board believes by the end of the year it will have collected approximately $10 million more to support industry programs in promotion, research and consumer education in 2004 than it anticipated when it approved the current budget just one year ago.

“The positive revenue picture coincides nicely with the board’s new strategic planning and budgeting process,“ Rodibaugh said. “Starting in 2003, board members have begun the annual budgeting process with a blank page, first identifying the critical issues facing the industry. We don’t allocate any money until those issues are identified,“ she said.

“As a result, we’re seeing new ideas, including the launch in March 2005 of a bold new marketing initiative to build on the phenomenal success of our ‘Other White Meat’ campaign. Our current strong position in the marketplace gives us the opportunity to provide financial support.“

The Checkoff-funded “Other White Meat“ campaign was identified by a national survey several years ago as being one of the five most recognized taglines in American advertising. “But even with a campaign that successful, there comes a time when you have to give it a boost with some new thinking and some new energy,“ Rodibaugh said. “This budget will provide the resources to help us build on the 3.4 percent increase in consumer demand and the double-digit increases in exports that we’ve experienced so far this year,“ she said.

The 2005 budget also supports both new and existing programs in environmental and animal health and welfare programs, and in the delivery of educational materials to pork producers.

The critical issues identified by the board for 2005 include increasing demand for pork both domestically and internationally; improving the consumer’s pork eating experience; developing new industry leaders; implementing an issues management process, establishing industry standards in environmental and animal health areas, and positively impacting the pork industry’s image with local communities.

“This budget gives our staff the resources to make a difference within each of these critical issues,“ Rodibaugh said. “Just as one example, we are creating a program called ‘Operation Main Street’ that will give producers around the country the training and tools they will need to help their neighbors and communities develop a better understanding of pork production and the important role it plays in local economies.

“We’re also excited about participating in the national effort to map the swine genome. The mapping of the human genome has led to knowledge that holds great promise for helping scientists improve human health. That same promise of improving the health and development of our animals exists once we understand the pig’s genetic make-up,“ she said.

Rodibaugh said the budget process included input from several hundred producers over a several-month period. “All producers need to know that they can share their ideas any time by calling the Pork Checkoff Service Center at 800-456-PORK.“

Source: National Pork Board - 24th November 2004

5m Editor