There was a time not so long ago when US raised pork products didn’t leave the country, but now, exports are an extremely important part of the pork industry. National Pork Producer’s Nick Giordano, VP & Counsel for international affairs gives a brief history of pork exports and what they mean to the industry as a whole:
“We think we will be up over last year, we were at $6.1 billion and we exported about 27% of our production and the contribution of exports to the value of the animal was about $55. Exports are important to the industry, but it hasn’t always been that way. In 1995 we crossed over from becoming a net exporter to a net importer. There are reasons we didn’t export much back then.
The first thing was market access. Multiple free trade agreements that were negotiated in the Clinton Administration and since have been a boon to the industry. Also, an increase in global incomes, and people have money to spend on more food. And more money leads to a meat based diet. Then there is the competitiveness of the industry. In spite of the high feed grain prices and the toll that’s taken on producers, we are still a low cost producer.
All of these things took us from shipping nothing to $6.1. The potential for exports is staggering.”
Vice President and Counsel for International Affairs for the National Pork Producers Council Nick Giordano.