There’s no doubt that the public is increasingly concerned with animal welfare, global warming, carbon footprint, sustainability, use of antibiotics and energy independence. How will these subjects impact pork production in the United States?

With formidable challenges facing the future of the U.S. pork industry, it is crucial that an effective and efficient plan be in place that will assure robust demand for pork as well as the continued success of the nation’s pork producers.

Laying out a clear vision for the future of the U.S. pork industry, the National Pork Board has developed a five-year strategic plan to address the rapid changes faced by the industry and identify the role of the National Pork Checkoff.

The new map of the pork industry’s future was built by pork producers for pork producers. The plan recognizes NPB’s close working relationship with the National Pork Producers Council, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and other groups crucial to the pork industry.

The purpose of the plan is to focus the pork industry’s resources to achieve a return to steady growth and profitability. The major elements of the plan are vision, mission, critical issues, desired outcomes and tactics.

The plan identifies the most serious challenges to the pork industry including high feed costs driven by U.S. energy policies, a global economic slowdown resulting in softer demand for pork and current or proposed government legislation which could greatly increase the price of production. Other challenges include pressure from powerful animal rights groups and vocal critics that distrust modern production methods employed by pork producers.

In addition, the plan examines emerging opportunities for the pork industry including improved corn genetics, the world’s expanding middle class and China’s pork export potential. The plan’s foundation consists of four key parameters regarding pork production: Responsible, Sustainable, Professional and Profitable. 

The plan focuses on protecting the rights of producers to raise hogs and produce pork in a sustainable, responsible and cost-competitive manner. The plan also addresses ways to refresh and reposition pork to increase domestic and global demand.

The Plan is prepared with the expectation that industry consolidation may continue and that consumer education on pork production is crucial to the continued success of pork and pork products.

Pork producers can request a copy of the plan by calling the pork checkoff service center at 800-456-7675.