Pork Commentary: Can We Capture Pork & Quality Premium?

US - Last week we visited the headquarters of the “Certified Angus Beef“ program in Wooster, Ohio, writes Jim Long, President-CEO Genesus Inc.
calendar icon 26 May 2016
clock icon 5 minute read

Our observations:

Started in 1978 by Angus Beef cattle ranchers who wished to ensure good tasting beef. It is owned by the Angus Cattle Association.

  • The programme identifies cattle with 51 per cent black hair and the cattle are graded by USDA for ie. Choice, Select.
  • About 65,000 head are in the certified programme weekly
  • Packer pays to Certified Angus Beef, a per lb fee. The packer pays USDA grading.
  • The “Certified Angus Beef” label has become the premium label for beef. It has become the premium label because it delivers tender, juicy, tasteful beef. It commands a financial premium in the market place.
  • Since its start in 1978 the “Certified Angus Beef” programme has grown to over 100 employees, including management, chefs and meat scientists. The facilities in Wooster include offices, to advertising support, culinary school, print shop and full scale video and photography facility.
  • Our take home message was they are a group of passionate meat people who are committed to spread the gospel of better beef (Certified Angus Beef) to Food Service, Retailers, Exporters etc. A program that is working.


We then ask why Pork hasn’t been successful in creating a similar programme or brand.

One that when consumers see the label they know they are getting delicious, tender, juicy and tasteful pork each and every time they purchase or order pork. We believe the lack of consistent quality taste control has limited the growth of our industry into food service, restaurants and consumers.

It’s a passion we have had at Genesus for a long time. For eighteen years we have been working weekly doing full carcass analysis on our Registered Duroc breed.

The Duroc has always had the best eating qualities. What we needed to do was maintain and improve the carcass characteristics of our Duroc while at the same time improving all production factors.

As the “Certified Angus Beef” people said to us, you must have competitive production costs as the Angus does, as the premium in the meat will not cover uncompetitive cost of production. They attribute much of the success of “Certified Angus Beef” to the production competitiveness of the Angus breed, which still delivers great-tasting beef.

As we evolve in the pork industry, the opportunity for taking the next step is there.

A pork product and brand, that has taste, flavour and is delicious pork. A brand that is more than just a name and a story. Stories are fables if they do not have the consistent product to deliver reality.

It’s a challenge but an opportunity. We know consumers want taste, which is mostly related to enough marbling.

USA Pork Bellies (Bacon) closed last Friday at $1.72 per lb, with Hams at 65.13¢ lb. Bellies (Bacon) have taste, flavour and fat. Hams at less than half the price per lb. are leaner and do not have the flavour.

The marketplace doesn’t lie - consumers want taste, they will pay for it, they are paying for it. They are voting with their money.

The opportunity for producing pork that demands a better price is real. It will take a concerted effort to turn an opportunity into the reality.

“If you are not a brand, you are a commodity” - Phillip Kotler

Randy Schultz

Genesus would like to announce Randy Schultz as Sales and Technical Representative in Manitoba.

Randy has been with Genesus for about a year and has been Assistant General Manager of Nucleus Operations. In that role he has learned extensively about not only Genesus Nucleus but Multiplication and Customer Operations.

Randy was previously with Topigs-Norsvin where he was Production Manager for 12 years at their 750 sow Primary Nucleus Paradise Valley in Manitoba.

In Topigs-Norsvin newsletter, we quote re. Paradise Valley: “Being the best Genetic Nucleus in the world doesn’t happen overnight, under the management of Randy Schultz (Production Manager) and assistance from Justin Reimer (Genetics Manager), the team effort of a diligent and capable staff at Paradise Valley has made all the difference in rising to the top.”

Randy has extensive knowledge in how Genesus performs compared to Topigs-Norsvin, and his experience includes all aspects of nucleus and swine production.

Randy will have responsibilities across all Manitoba. He is Manitoba born and raised and lives with his family in Steinbach.

To Contact Randy:
[email protected]

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