North Carolina State University agricultural economists have received $465,000 to study different types of marketing arrangements in the pork industry.
NC State is a part of the consortium of researchers headed by the Research Triangle Institute, which received a $4.3 million contract from the USDA’s Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration to study livestock and meat marketing for hogs, cattle and sheep.
The researchers will take data collected by RTI - surveys of all those involved in livestock and meat production and marketing, from producers and packers to food service firms, exporters and retailers, as well as their individual transaction data - and conduct various economic analyses, including:
Identifying and determining the use of emerging types of marketing arrangements such as production and marketing contracts;
Determining terms of the marketing arrangements and their availability to entities of different sizes and in different geographic locations;
Determining the long-term implications of pork marketing arrangements on operating costs; animal and meat quality; marketing risks; prices of livestock and meat; and the structure of the livestock and meatpacking industries.
NC State researchers are especially interested in comparing and contrasting the North Carolina model - dominated by vertically integrated companies - with the Midwestern model in which small farms raise pigs and sell them at auctions.