Published on Feb. 1, 2022
How to: Determine the true value of pork
Pork is the most consumed animal protein all over the world, but it’s also one of the most affordable meat options for consumers. When comparing the cost to consumers versus the quality and nutrition behind pork products there seems to be a disconnect in the market. What is the consumer perception and how can we highlight the true value of pork?
High quality pork is an excellent source of protein containing many essential amino acids that contribute to a nutritious, healthy diet. It is a tasty and affordable option that can be adapted into many common recipes. Around the world, we are seeing a shift in demand when it comes to animal protein. Not only do consumers expect affordable and consistent meat quality but there is also increased demand for improved economic sustainability.
Discover the true value of pork
When it comes to products, consumers have been conditioned to think of low cost being closely correlated to low quality. Unfortunately, this ideology is commonly shared in every region around the world. In terms of the animal protein industry, this sector has been a cost-plus based system for years to ensure food is affordable to eliminate global hunger.
In no other industry is the total cost of production so transparent as it is in agriculture. With the benefit of the purchase price being so low to consumers, it’s difficult for most to see the real value behind the tasty pork they are purchasing.
Improved genetics bring added value
Regionally, there are many different requirements for feed, housing and environmental conditions when it comes to producing pork. Because of this, tailored products are needed to deliver the most suitable genetics, focusing on both production and new opportunities of growth for the industry.
Offspring that needs to perform in a different type of environment than what their parents were selected in, might lead to surprising, negative results. Performance testing of siblings or offspring in the environment that they will perform in is necessary to be able to offer the right genetics. It is imperative for success that breeding programs are steered on these aspects. By giving producers access to the best suited and highest quality swine genetics, we can bridge the gap between cost and quality, improve productivity, and increase the bottom-line result.
Reducing waste increases the value of pork
Waste and losses in the animal production system greatly impacts the economic value of the output. Currently, the biggest struggle for pork producers globally is finding a solution to increased grow-to-finish mortality on their farms. Valuable resources are used, and energy is wasted resulting with major economic impact.
Animals die and that is a fact of life but through breeding for more self-reliant animals we can reduce waste and loss significantly. Animals should be able to naturally take care of themselves and their offspring. There is added value in raising animals that do not require foster mothers, treatments or time to catch up with the rest of the herd, among other things that delay the production cycle or decline the maximum total system profitability.
Every animal lost decreases value for the entire pork industry. By balancing traits within the breeding goals in a different way, we can add value through improving management practices, focusing on the social behavior of animals, and improving housing systems.
Animals that survive life’s challenges can still decrease value due to major inefficiencies. Young animals that start strong with good body weight and condition, will perform better in converting feed to food. Animals that suffer more from disease challenges will not grow or produce as well as stronger, more resilient animals. Increasing focus to reduce losses and solve inefficiencies will deliver a large part of the solution towards better value for animal protein.
There is no simple solution for capturing the true value of pork. But starting off right with high quality, tailored swine genetics can make a huge difference in delivering value for you and for the rest of the chain.