The National Pork Board has designated $135,000 in supplemental funding to increase pork demand and margins by supporting efforts to improve pork quality.

Action will focus on identifying ways that producers can impact meat quality during production and transport, and further evaluate the link between physiological characteristics of muscle and meat quality.

This work will be under the direction of the Pork Board’s newly formed Animal Science Committee which “will oversee programs closely related to on-farm production,” explains Mark Boggess, director of animal science for the Pork Board.

The Pork Board also approved new funding:

  • To increase consumer demand for pork, notably for consumers interested in low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets. The $750,000 will fund several efforts to encourage the 24 million adults who are on a low-carbohydrate diet to pick pork as their source of protein. About 44 million consumers are expected to try one of these popular diets in the next two years.

    A new advertising campaign will be built around the slogan, “Not all proteins are created equal.”

    The Pork Board’s consumer-oriented Web site has about 1,400 recipes available to sort by key word. Funding will provide means to develop a new section to highlight low-carbohydrate recipes available.

  • To expand the Hispanic marketing program from five to a dozen markets. “This additional funding ($2 million) will expand the reach of our award-winning marketing program to more than half of the U.S. Hispanic population,” says Craig Christensen, Pork Board president and Ogden, IA, producer.

During its first two years, the Hispanic marketing program, which focused on markets in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Chicago, saw a 200% increase in awareness and 62% of the consumers are more comfortable buying pork. Consumers exposed to the campaign are buying about 43% more pork. The expanded pork program will continue to be based on the “El Cerdo es bueno” message (which means Pork is Good).

The 41 million Hispanic consumers are the largest minority in the U.S., comprising 14% of the population. While Hispanics represent 8.4% of U.S. households, they buy 12.3% of pork sold in the U.S.