The National Pork Board this week selected members of a diverse panel to oversee the group's strategic path to 2020 by examining consumer needs, animal care, sustainable pork production and other current challenges facing the industry.
Beginning December 2013 the year-long planning process will review research, market data and opinions of industry leaders to develop a plan for the years 2015 through 2020. The last strategic plan was unveiled in 2009 and will expire in 2014.
The new plan will be developed by asking the industry's key players a simple question – what if?, says Pork Checkoff Chief Executive Officer Chris Novak.
Answers will then chart a course that can help pork farmers achieve the opportunities that single question may identify, he says.
"In the hands of pork producers who have a vision for how we can better serve consumers, 'what if?' is an incredibly powerful tool to explore what we can attain as an industry," Novak said. "The last time we asked that question, we articulated an industry vision to become more responsible, sustainable, professional and profitable," Novak said.
For the first time, the planning process will bring together pork producers, animal health experts, packers, processors and food distributors, and foodservice and retail experts. By involving key leaders from both pork production and its allied industries, NPB said it expects diverse opinions to inform its deliberations.
"Only through sharing information with each other and truly looking at our industry through the eyes of its key partners can we fully assess the challenges and opportunities that are ahead," Novak said. "For me, strategic planning comes down to analyzing three fundamental questions: Where are we today? Where do we want to be? How do we get there together?," he said.
Producer comments welcome
The process will use a variety of tools to engage stakeholders, including providing an opportunity for each of the more than 60,000 U.S. pork producers to participate by answering surveys and submitting opinions. The task force will collect valuable information from farmers, customers and supply chain partners.
Pork producers can email comments to [email protected] regarding how the Pork Checkoff can best strengthen tomorrow's industry.
The participants in the National Pork Board's strategic planning task force include: Board president Karen Richter and board vice president Dale Norton; Board members Jan Archer and Glen Walters; Roy Lee Lindsey, executive director, Oklahoma Pork Council; Randy Spronk, president, National Pork Producers Council; Dr. Jay Akridge, dean of agriculture, Purdue University; Pork producers Robert Dykhuis, James Heimerl, and Dr. Craig Rowles, DVM; Rich Gallant, vice president, Cargill Meat Solutions; Joe Jordon, vice president, Domino's Pizza ; Joe Swedberg, vice president, Hormel Foods; Leann Saunders, president, Where Food Comes From, Inc.; Rick Parker, director, JBS USA; and Michael Skahill, vice president, Smithfield Foods.