By: Al Juhnke, NPPA Executive Director
Here is your trivia question for the day: What is the number one meat consumed in the world?
Yes, pork is the most consumed meat in the world (followed in order by chicken, beef and mutton). Knowing this information helps us understand why trade is so important to our family farmers raising pigs here in Nebraska.
Pork producers have a rather unique story to tell. Looking back about 25 years, the United States exported very little pork. In fact, some years we were net importers of this product.
Fast forward to today. Our farmers are now exporting between 25 to 30 percent of what they produce. Export values return about $53 per head to producers.
Top U.S. export markets by both value and volume include Japan, Mexico, China, Canada, South Korea and South America.
Recognizing the importance of trade to our farmers, the Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA) annually invests time and resources into this area. Maintaining current international relationships is one goal. There is also the need to develop new markets in other countries.
Participation by NPPA board members and staff in trade missions and marketing tours is one key to export success. This year saw Nebraska representation in Japan and Vietnam. Asian markets are recognized by our producers and processors as an area of the world we can compete in and grow our business.
Partnerships with organizations like the United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF) or joint trade missions with other commodity groups further helps facilitate maintaining or opening new markets for our state and country.
NPPA is involved with lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C., making sure our elected policy makers understand the importance of trade to the agricultural economy of Nebraska. Free trade agreements implemented by the United States with other countries are strongly supported by NPPA and are another one of the keys to our future success.
Our growers continue to seek barrier-free international markets. The fact is, Nebraska pork farmers produce a good, safe, reliable, sustainable food and can compete with anyone in the world when given the chance.
Oh, and one other item of note that makes us competitive in world markets: Our Nebraska- grown pork products are very tasty!