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Pork Check-off Rate Reduced

03/21/2022

At a meeting of the Pork Forum in Louisville, KY., delegates voted 94 percent to reduce the pork check-off rate from $0.40 to $0.35 per $100 value effective January 1st 2023.  The resolution followed a recommendation from the Pork Industry Vision Task Force representing the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers’ Council that was convened to revise the structure of pork promotion.  Recommendations approved by the Vision Task Force included:-

 

  • Creating a joint Producer-Led working group of state leaders
  • Forming a new joint-industry task force to review issues and opportunities
  • Promoting efficient and effective methods of promotion that optimize funding  

 

According to the release, Gene Noem president of the National Pork Board stated, “Producers have told industry leadership they expect us to be efficient and strategic with their dollars.”  He added, “These resolutions reflect a desire to more responsive to the industry needs and challenges and to present a more unified and consistent voice across the industry.”  Perhaps more efficient and productive use of check-off funds could include termination of successive non-winnable lawsuits opposing California Proposition #12 and encourage their members to move towards group housing of sows before they run out of customers.

 

The decision by pork producers may have implication for other commodity boards including the American Egg Board.  More than a decade ago, producers voted against an increase in the check-off rate for eggs.  Since this time, the American Egg Board has demonstrated competence and professionalism in the three-fold mission of research, promotion and consumer education.  The AEB overhead is constrained and allocation of resources to activities appears to be appropriate to the challenges presented by an inflationary economy, fluctuating wholesale prices, relatively static demand and above all the effects of COVID over the past two years.  Prospects for an increase in the check-off rate are remote despite the increased margins during the present quarter compared to previous years. There appears to be no immediate prospect of an increase in the check-off rate unless the AEB can develop programs that significantly improve egg consumption. Over the past decade there have been only incremental increases on an annual basis. An argument could be made that in the absence of the activities of the AEB egg consumption may have in fact fallen reflecting competition from alternative foods and substitutes.