Pork destined for Japanese table

US - In keeping with the City of Boyden’s slogan, ‘Small in size, Big in business’, SIG International is proving that small packers can be successful in the pork business.
calendar icon 19 October 2006
clock icon 2 minute read

SIG, located on Main Street in Boyden, is a ‘niche’ packer, catering to a specific taste in pork. Their customers want meat with lots of marbling, or fat. And they’re supplying it.

When SIG purchased the plant in 1999, they were slaughtering around 200 hogs per week. Now the company is pushing the capacity of the plant, slaughtering 1200 hogs per week.

That growth happened because SIG is willing to go the extra mile for its customers, stated SIG Vice President Troy Enger. “We’re able to make small modifications for individual customers,” he said. “That doesn’t usually happen with the large packers.”

The majority of pork processed at SIG is shipped to Japan. Japanese consumers prefer pork that is dark in color, boneless and highly marbled.

The darker meat and higher fat content are best found in the Berkshire breed. “The meat contains more fat and flavor,” said Enger. “The Japanese recognize the Berkshire as being a better pig. And it’s catching on in the United States too. Many of the higher end restaurants here are serving pork with a lot more marbling.”

SIG contracts with approximately 40 producers within a 100-mile radius to get the animals they want. Nearly half of those farmers raise Berkshire pigs.

Source: Stpns

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