PORK CHECKOFF HELPS CONNECT NICHE MARKET PRODUCERS, CONSUMERS
The Pork Checkoff is launching a new Internet site to help connect pork producers with consumers who want to buy specialty pork products. The Pork Checkoff's new niche pork Web site address is www.nichepork.org
"This Web site is unique, because it brings together a variety of pork production and marketing resources," said Scott Long, a pork producer from Manteca, Calif., and a member of the National Pork Checkoff Board. "This is one way the Pork Checkoff is at work to provide access to the knowledge and opportunities that allow all producers to be competitive."
The Pork Checkoff designed this Web site to connect producers, packers and buyers across the country. This is a way for pork producers, regardless of the size of their operation, to learn more about niche marketing and unique production practices. And, it's a way for consumers to locate sources of specialty pork products. Any pork producer who is marketing pork outside the traditional commodity marketing channels can be included in the database. To be included, contact the Pork Checkoff Service Center at 800-456-PORK.
"The 'locate a producer' link will provide a way for restaurants and individuals to contact specific producers directly," Long said. "My farm is listed, which may bring more business my way. If I were just getting started in niche marketing, I might need to find someone to harvest my hogs. Then I'd use the 'locate a packer' link to see a list of packers across the country who work with niche producers."
Dale Trebesh of Minn., is another pork producer who is listed in the database. "We raise drug-free hogs and started niche marketing three years ago," Trebesh said. "It does take a lot of work, but it has been rewarding." Three years ago, Trebesh started producing natural pork products and marketing them at 10 locations, including two farmers markets. The farmers markets in Minnesota run through spring and summer, while Trebesh offers his antibiotic and growth hormone free products year-round to his customers.
Trebesh described his experiences as a niche marketer during the Pork Checkoff-sponsored 2003 NichePORK Conference. This conference focused on what pork producers need to know to transform their ideas for marketing their pork into a business plan. Presenters included pork producers who are marketing their products and experts who can help producers develop business plans and seek financing. Information from the 2003 NichePORK Conference, including full audio of each presentation, is available on the Pork Checkoff's niche marketing area of the Internet, which can be found at www.porkboard.org.
In addition to the database of pork producers and processors, the site includes links to niche pork information at universities, Extension, USDA and the National Pork Board. A calendar will show conferences related to niche pork. To contribute news, calendar items or other updates to the niche pork Web site, contact the Pork Checkoff Service Center at 800-456-PORK.
National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health and pork safety. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at 800-456-PORK or check the Internet at www.porkboard.org.