Pork Board sets in motion five-year plan

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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DES MOINES, IOWA — The National Pork Board released its new vision statement and announced the board plans to reposition the pork brand with consumers.

"Leading a world-class food industry — Responsible. Sustainable. Professional. Profitable." is the new vision for the National Pork Board. It was released to Pork Act Delegates at the National Pork Industry Forum March 4-6 in Kansas City, Mo.

"This new plan for the future of our pork industry was built by pork producers, for pork producers," said Tim Bierman, a Larrabee, Iowa, pork producer and president of the National Pork Board. "Work on this plan began last year during some of the darkest days for U.S. pork producers since 1998, but the producer task force remained committed to building a plan that could help ensure a successful future."

The board defines a world-class pork industry as:

• Being socially responsible in the production of food that feeds the world;

• Adopting production practices consistent with the pork industry's ethical principles that can be sustained long term;

• Demonstrating the industry's We Care philosophy by acting in a professional and competent manner at every level of the industry, from top meat-company executives to workers in the hog barns across America; and

• Providing top-quality food products for consumers at a reasonable price that enables all industry participants to be profitable on a consistent basis.

"These points describe core industry values that all members of our industry should strive to implement on a daily basis," Bierman said.

Pork Act Delegates also previewed new efforts to reposition pork with consumers.

"Since 1987, The Other White Meat campaign has been effective in changing consumers' perception of pork as a leaner choice," Bierman said. "During 2010, the Pork Board will be testing potential new brand positions for pork that may be more effective in reaching today's consumers."

Schafer Condon Carter, an agency with meat and commodity experience, has been hired following a competitive review of brand agencies. The agency will assist the National Pork Board in evaluating its brand position.

In other business, the Pork Act Delegates voted on candidates for the National Pork Board to be forwarded for approval to the Secretary of Agriculture.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will appoint five Pork Board members in July from a list of eight nominees elected by the delegates to serve 3-year terms. The candidates are:

• Julie Maschhoff, Carlyle, Ill.
• Everett Forkner, Richards, Mo.
• Henry Moore, Clinton, N.C.
• Derrick Sleezer, Cherokee, Iowa
• Craig Mensink, Preston, Minn.
• Wathina Luthi, Gage, Okla.
• Gregg Hora, Fort Dodge, Iowa
• Steve Wuergler, Drain, Ore.

Jim Fisher, a pork producer from Middletown, Mo.; and Karen Balfe, a pork producer from Waseca, Minn.; were elected to the Pork Board Nominating Committee.
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