In the latest monthly export results from October, the combined total of U.S. pork muscle cut and pork variety meat exports was record-large in both volume (218,312 metric tons) and value ($607.3 million), figures Chris Novak, chief executive officer of the National Pork Board, says came at a critical time.
"With the drought that our producers have faced this year, record high feed prices, again and yet we are seeing international markets respond to the value of our current pork supplies," Novak said in the U.S. Meat Export Federation interview.
Novak expressed appreciation for international marketing partnerships with USMEF and the Pork Checkoff, as well as the producers themselves.
"Our producers have done a good job through the pork quality assurance plus program to provide our international customers with what they expect from a quality and safety standpoint," Novak said. "And I think at the end of the day the quality of U.S. pork, the leanness of U.S. pork, is what keeps our international buyers coming back."
Novak said that pork industry leaders will meet at an upcoming conference to discuss additional ways in which positive aspects of U.S. pork production can be highlighted for international customers and incorporated into global marketing strategies. The meeting is scheduled for Jan. 14-15 in Denver.
Novak says it also will focus on the sustainability of U.S. pork and what that means to international customers.
"We know that good environmental quality is important to U.S. consumers.Animal welfare, safety, affordability are all important to U.S. consumers," he said. "We think some of those same attributes can be important part of our marketing strategies to international customers."