Iowa is the number one pork producing state. Producers here make the greatest financial contribution to the pork checkoff to finance research and promotion of pork. Bill Even, has served less than a year as the CEO of the Pork Board. He speaks out on efforts to spend producers dollars wisely and find new markets for pork. He spoke with Carson Horn of the Radio Oklahoma Network at a recent pork event in that state.
“The National Pork Board has a strategic plan that really is focused on those three pillars – how do you build consumer trust, how do you grow production sustainable and then how do you grow demand as well,” Even said. “Those are in line with our statutory obligations.”
In order to best serve the producers that fund the NPB, Even has taken measures to meet goals guided by those three missions, more efficiently and effectively, by merging and streamlining certain operations within the organization. Part of this effort, entails reviewing and refreshing the NPB’s domestic marketing tactics and strategies.
“One example of something the Pork Board has done quite well is our emphasis on multicultural marketing, particularly speaking with the Hispanic population in the US,” Even reported.
According to him, the Caucasian demographic is only projected to increase over the next several decades by about 1 percent. On the other hand, the Hispanic population is expected to grow by nearly 160 percent.
“That’s really good news for the pork producers and the pork industry because the Hispanic culture is a culture that enjoys pork, enjoys eating it as part of their family culture,” he said. “Our opportunity to engage with this very young demographic really bodes well for domestic pork consumption.”
In fact, since taking the helm at NPB, Even has lead the charge in ramping up promotion efforts focused on the Hispanic community, tripling NPB’s investment. He believes this is a wise decision for a quickly developing industry.
“Number one takeaway is that the pork industry in the US is growing and growing at a pretty dramatic pace,” Even pointed out. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be growing pains, but you’re much better off to be part of a growing industry then one that’s on the decline.”