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National Pork Board to Meet Prior to World Pork Expo

by 5m Editor
7 June 2011, at 11:50am

US - Building on the early success of its new Pork® Be inspired(sm) campaign launched in April, the National Pork Board will consider a proposal today to allocate additional Pork Checkoff resources to extend the media reach of the campaign into the fall.

The board meets in Des Moines today, the day before the start of World Pork Expo, which runs from Wednesday through Friday at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Also on the board’s agenda Tuesday is the election of officers for the year beginning 1 July.

"Early response to our new branding initiative, especially among our partners in the packing industry and in food retailing, has been very positive," said Gene Nemechek, a swine veterinarian and president of the National Pork Board. "Our producer-led domestic marketing committee believes we can build on this early momentum if we have the ability to purchase additional television and other advertising this fall."

The launch of Pork Be inspired included national television advertising during April and May. Advertising in magazines, on radio and online is scheduled to continue through the remainder of the year. But the 2011 budget approved by the board last November did not include television advertising past the spring.

"The board will have to consider this request, as well as several other mid-year budget requests, in the context of how much of our Checkoff revenues we want to keep in reserve for contingencies and emergencies," Mr Nemechek said.

He said unexpected high pork prices during 2011 have created Checkoff revenue in excess of budget estimates. Producers invest 0.4 per cent of sales each time they sell a pig. "We have to be certain we strike an appropriate balance between immediate needs of pork producers and planning carefully for the future. I anticipate the board will have a thorough discussion of this question," Mr Nemechek said.

In addition to electing new officers, the board also expects to hear a report on the impact of a recent decision by the US Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) to lower the safe cooking temperature of pork muscle cuts from 160 degrees Fahrenheit to 145 degrees followed by a three-minute rest period. The board earlier approved the expenditure of additional Checkoff funds to help spread the news of the FSIS decision to consumers.

A comprehensive examination and prioritization of issues facing pork producers completed by the Pork Checkoff staff and producer-led committees has been completed and will be presented to the board.

The board also will hear a number of programme reports, including one on the progress of the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), a new effort by a coalition of more than 40 commodity organizations and agribusinesses, including the National Pork Board. USFRA is working to assure the operating freedom of farmers and ranchers and to increase the voice of farmers and ranchers in the public discussion of issues pertaining the production of healthy food for everyone. The board has allocated up to $3 million to support the work of USFRA.

Meetings of the National Pork Board are open to the public. Those wishing to attend are asked to contact Lorraine Garner, [email protected], (515) 223-2600.