Pork Board OKs $3 million for summer push

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ORLANDO — New market challenges and opportunities inspired the National Pork Board March 7 to approve adding $3 million in additional pork checkoff funds to bolster the 2013 domestic marketing budget during the summer.

Slow pork exports

Key international trading partners have given signs they will limit U.S. pork’s international market access, which threatens to slow pork exports from the record pace set in 2012.

“With farmers still reeling from the high feed prices associated with the 2012 drought, we felt it was critically important that we are doing everything we can to keep pork moving through the marketplace,” said National Pork Board President Conley Nelson, an Algona, Iowa, farmer and pork production executive.

Ceci Snyder, the checkoff’s vice president of domestic marketing, told board members the additional funds will make it possible to emphasize the value of pork in the meat case at a time when many consumers are feeling a financial pinch.
Nelson noted that the board took similar action in 2011 to grow demand at a critical juncture.

Budget approval

The budget addition must be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the National Pork Board budget.

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 $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula.

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