Biggest pork marketing campaign could be rolled out this summer

UK - There are 5,000 miles of trunk road and motorway in England, most of it bordered by farmland.
calendar icon 25 April 2006
clock icon 4 minute read
National
Pig
Association

National Pig Association
THE VOICE OF THE UK PIG INDUSTRY

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers - fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

This represents an extraordinary marketing opportunity for farmers, who are in the unique position of being able to advertise to the millions of drivers who travel 60 billion miles a year on these roads.

In particular it represents a major opportunity to pig farmers, especially those in the eastern counties where so many major roads are flanked by outdoor pig units.

It is time, says independent adviser Peter Crichton, that the pig industry grasped this opportunity.

He recommends large trailer-mounted signs with a simple message such as “Born free” or “Born free on English farms”.

I agree with Peter. I have never understood why the farming industry has so signally failed to make full use of this outstanding marketing opportunity in a concerted campaign.

Imagine the effect (and the expense) of an advert for British pork on every billboard in the country. Well we can beat that a thousand-fold every day of the year, and for a minimal outlay.

And it isn’t just outdoor pig producers who will benefit from increased demand. The knock-on effect will benefit all pig producers.

So let us agree we are going to make this happen and set ourselves a deadline… say late summer.

We don’t need to discuss how the signs should be paid for at this stage (although Peter Crichton has offered to start the sponsorship at £250.) The important considerations are…

  • What is the ideal size for the canvas signs, bearing in mind they must have impact even when traffic is travelling at 80mph?
  • What should the short message be, to capture the essence of British standards?
  • And most importantly… would every outdoor producer go to the time and trouble of putting up trailer-mounted sign? Would you?
Finally, when (not if) the pig industry’s roadside marketing campaign gets under way, it is as certain as night follows day that demand will lift and supermarkets will try and cream the extra income for themselves by stepping up dishonest displays and packaging.

The European Commission is currently consulting on labelling. This is an opportunity the industry must not miss. The level of dishonesty taking place in supermarkets cannot be ignored by Brussels, as long as the industry presents the figures clearly.

The ‘natural’ premium for English pork is ten percent and that is the sum that is stolen from pig producers and processors when some supermarkets and caterers succeed in passing off foreign pork as British. We need to put some figures (and they'll be huge) to this offence.

Source:By Digby Scott, National Pig Association - 25th April 2006
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