In 2010, $218.6 million worth of Oklahoma pork shipped around the world. This makes pork the third most exported product from Oklahoma and is a 25.35 percent increase from the previous year. These numbers come from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce's 2010 Global Export Report released last week.
"This report demonstrates how Oklahoma's pork industry is effectively adding value to a commodity," said Jim Reese, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture. "They produce a product hat meets the need of their global customers which brings new money to Oklahoma's economy."
With 16,000 Oklahomans working directly or indirectly for the pork industry, more than 410,000 sows are raised throughout Oklahoma. These sows produce 2.4 million pigs annually.
A thriving global demand for pork is important to all US pork producers. Each year approximately 20 percent of US pork is consumed in other countries. Pork is the world's most widely eaten meat, holding 40 percent of the share.
Most of Oklahoma's exported pork is processed by Seaboard Foods in Guymon, Okla., and goes to Japan and Mexico.
"As an Oklahoma company, our goal from the beginning has been to develop export markets where we can add value to our existing pork products," said Rod Brenneman, president and CEO of Seaboard Foods. "We have been successful in adding value to our pork products through our willingness to listen, respond and interact with our international customers and to focus on long-term relationships mutually beneficial to both Seaboard Foods and our customers in Japan, Mexico and other foreign markets. We are proud to be a major exporter of pork products throughout the world."
"Pork producers continue to make significant contributions to Oklahoma's economy," said Roy Lee Lindsey, Jr., Oklahoma Pork Council executive director. "Their success in the global market place stems from a commitment to sound production practices and is particularly beneficial to rural areas of our state where pigs are raised and processed."