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US Pork Exports Aiming for Value and Diversification

US Pork Exports Aiming for Value and Diversification

Coming off one of the largest years for U.S. pork exports around the globe, the National Pork Board is working to add value, volume and to diversify markets to support long-term expansion.

Norman Bessac, Vice President of International Marketing with the National Pork Board explains the strategy.

pork“The key for us is to make sure that value is going to lead volume. In other words that we’re adding value for the volume that we’re shipping overseas, and diversification really helps us build that portfolio of countries, so that we do that in that really just enables us to bring the best value back to producers.”

Bessac is optimistic about the ability to continue to grow the market share globally.

“That just simply means that if we’re going to take on the risk of exporting products we want to make sure that we’re getting paid for that. So, focusing on value and volume make sure we have a good balance, and that we’re getting growth, that is both productive and sustainable for the U.S. market.”

The Pork Checkoff is working collaboratively, with the U.S. Meat Export Federation, in the four categories of core markets, developing markets, emerging markets, and a watch list.  Bessac explains each market has specific needs, such as those of the emerging markets.

“There are markets that are just starting to increase their imports of protein, maybe it’s because the economy is now grown so that they’re looking for protein as they move away from a rice or a bean protein diet. Great examples of markets in this category would be Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, South Africa, Gabon. Those are all emerging markets where we just want to get trial and convince them that they can buy us pork with confidence.”

The U.S. has not always been a net exporter of pork. In fact, 1994 was the first year more pork was exported from the U.S., than imported into this country.

More information about U.S. pork exports is available on the Pork Checkoff’s website at