Jim Long President – CEO Genesus Inc.
April 17, 2023
Doesn’t take an Ag-Economist to point out the massive difference between the wholesale price of Pork and Beef cut-outs. It’s a terrible testament to Pork demand. It’s a terrible testament to what consumers prefer to spend their money on. It’s obvious Beef by almost a 4 to 1 ratio. As a person who has everything invested in the Pork industry, it is an alarming issue.
We have had people send us emails saying the Pork price debacle issue is inflation and lack of consumer buying power. If that’s the case, why do consumers have money for Beef? Beef is near record price levels while the Pork price languishes. Consumers have money they just prefer to spend it on Beef, not Pork. At the staggering 4 to 1 ratio.
The Pork Checkoff money spent to have “The Other White Meat” has been successful we now have raced to the bottom. Whole Chickens last week $1.39 lb. Tom Turkeys $1.70 lb. We now it appears to us made a product that sells for less than not only Beef but Chicken and Turkey.
What is our National Pork Board doing about our terrible Pork demand? The one that collects 10’s of millions in Checkoff a year. They appoint more bureaucracy a National Sustainability Officer to lead a sustainability team of five public health, animal welfare, and environmental experts. To us, sustainability isn’t more bureaucracy and costs. It’s about efforts to make our industry profitable. That’s real sustainability. The industry is suffering from not only poor demand that sucks but financial losses that are crippling many producers and some packers. (This past week’s announcement of two plants shutting – one in Minnesota – the other in Quebec. No one shuts a plant if they are making money).
Where are our Checkoff dollars being used to promote demand and better Pork? Is it about more hires and a bigger bureaucracy to fill more cubicles? Maybe you agree with the direction of our industry. Maybe we are out of step saying losing money is not sustainable. Maybe we are wrong to say Beef taste has consumers paying more. We believe when a Major Genetic Company has a customer banquet and serves Beef it is in itself a condemnation of what some in our industry think of the Pork (also the crap the Genetic Company produces).
We need a taste revolution, or our industry will shrink from financial losses. We need to bring up demand. Sustainability bureaucrats focused on public health, animal welfare, and environment will not turn around Pork demand or profits. It’s like the story of a major company losing millions a week having a companywide meeting about lowering cellphone use to cut costs. It didn’t matter and didn’t help. They are no longer in business.
Real Sustainability is a profitable industry not chasing woke issues at the expense of the driver of real Pork demand. Taste.