Should Swine Producers Care About Marketing

by Denise Faguy

In ancient times, the first marketing pieces were very likely to have been food related and painted on a wall, directing where travelers could go to get a good meal. In days gone by, marketing was by one-way communication and targeted, getting a specific message out to the audience. Today, more than ever, marketing includes two-way communication on multiple media platforms, exposing messages to a large variety of global consumers.

Because pork and pork products must be processed in either a state or federally inspected plant, not many swine producers are interacting and marketing direct to consumers. So, it is easy for swine producers to not be engaged in consumer marketing of swine products. At PigCHAMP, we believe it is up to everyone in the swine industry to ensure the swine industry, overall, is represented positively with consumers.

We must accept that we are all responsible for marketing. Today, social media plays a large part of marketing. We cannot go back to a simpler time, when the only message consumers saw was the message, we wanted them to see. As Alice said in Alice in Wonderland, “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then”.

When using social media, always be sure to post a positive image of the swine industry. Ensure photos are carefully selected and represent industry best practices. When you are interacting with the public, know the facts and share them when you can.

Here are some facts for you to know and share from the National Pork Producers Council:

  • More than 60,000 pork producers annually market more than 115 million hogs.
  • The pork industry is responsible for about 550,000 jobs.
  • Exports of pork and pork-related products total over 2.2 million metric tons annually -- more than 26 percent of U.S. production.
  • Animal agriculture in the U.S. is only responsible for 2.5 percent of total U.S. emissions. Of that total, pork farmers were only responsible for about one-third of 1 percent.