Pork producers are making a difference in their industry by serving on task forces. Some focus on health or the environment while others concentrate on taste and consumer outreach. The objective of the producer-led Loin Complex Task Force is to increase and capture value and volume on the loin complex for the entire pork industry. National Pork Board Past President Gene Noem gave an example of the task force reviewing the disparity between pork and beef loin.
“When we understand where there’s opportunities, how can we actually advise those that do the merchandising for us to bring more value to the cut out.”
Noem said the loin task force has a defined goal that includes reaching out to exports, ask the right questions and set the staff on a path to help processing, packaging and retail industry capitalize on what has been done.
“This task force, the producer group, really is looking at trying to set up a stage to do some more work to investigate. what kind of product should product presentation should be there? We look at a whole pork loin, a half a pork loin, or chops, and is there something else that really is in today’s trends? I think I saw something that somewhere north of 40 some percent of all purchases today are really case ready, which means come home, put in the oven and put it in a pan, put it on the grill and, cook it. And maybe it has some accoutrements along with it, maybe it’s, you know, you see the stir fry packages as an example. That would be an example of where you might be able to do something like that. I’ve seen prepackaged where you’ve got a piece of the loin and you have some carrots and potatoes and it’s all in a vacuum packed thing, you come home, dump it into a crock pot, and then in a few hours it’s ready. Are there some merchandising things like that that really would be attractive to who are consuming public to really try to capitalize on this on this line value that’s out there.”
Noem said pork producers invest in the Pork Checkoff, and they deserve a seat at the table.
“It’s their money, their investment, they deserve a seat at the table. Second, they ask the right kind of questions to ensure that people understand that are merchandising what’s happening back in the farm, but also through those conversations they might discover things that are really different and maybe need to be done differently on the farm. And producers are there to really learn and both influence and then learn about those things.”
The Pork Checkoff partners with a third-party to complete a retail study to evaluate quality, consistency and tenderness. Noem shared some of the most recent insights.
“We saw a notable increase in the quality, and the quality is indicated again by color, marbling, and pH. And that means that this industry is really responding, and I think it’s just going to take a little bit of time to make sure that consumers understand and can connect to the value that they’re getting for that.”
Visit porkcheckoff.org to discover how Checkoff is focusing on research, education and promotion in the pork industry with the support and guidance from producer leaders.