DES MOINES, IOWA — As pork producers struggle with record-high feed prices caused by the worst U.S. drought since the 1950s, the National Pork Board has approved domestic and international marketing budgets it is hoping will help drive pork demand at a critical time.
The board is committing $27.7 million in FY2013 for domestic marketing efforts and $7.1 million for international marketing efforts that will help stem producer losses that are forecast for this next year. The board added almost $2 million in additional dollars to the marketing effort from its September preliminary budget.
2013 budget. The action came as the board approved a 2013 program budget of $69.8 million, slightly higher than the 2012 budget of $69.3 million.
The budget now goes to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for final approval. USDA oversees the National Pork Board’s spending of the pork checkoff.
The National Pork Board has responsibility for checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national pork checkoff, pork producers invest 40 cents for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula.
National data show that consumption of fresh pork is holding steady among all consumers while consumers in the Checkoff’s Pork Be inspired target audience are trending toward higher intake.
In September, the amount spent per U.S. consumer on pork was the highest of any month since 2004.
In addition, the recent pork checkoff tracking study conducted in June surveyed 1,200 U.S. households and found that targeted consumers reported enjoying three servings of fresh pork in the previous two weeks. These consumers are open to fresh pork, with more rating fresh pork cuts higher compared with previous tracking studies.
Internationally, U.S. pork exports are on pace to match the 2011 record of $6.108 billion in value and 4.97 billion pounds. For the first eight months of the year, export value is more than $56 per head.