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AHDB Pork proposes additional £1m promotional spend

1st Dec 2016 / By Alistair Driver

AHDB Pork is proposing to spend an extra £1m on promoting British pork under a new three-year strategy for the sector, launched today. 

Meryl WardThe extra marketing activity will include a new focus on pork as a midweek meal solution as the levy board looks to build on the success of the Pulled Pork marketing campaign, which featured prominently on television and in other media formats this spring.

The strategy also outlines plans to close the productivity gap between English and EU pig producers.

The new pork strategy is one strand of AHDB’s new ‘Inspiring Success’ corporate strategy, which aims to 'create a world-class food and farming industry’. 

AHDB Pork said its new strategy for 2017–2020 builds on work of its current ‘Going for Growth’ programme, as well as the Pulled Pork Campaign.

With the UK's post-Brexit future very much in mind, the strategy outlines proposals to build on market intelligence horizon scanning, market analysis and export work.

Extra marketing spend 

Faced with a longer term decline in retail fresh sales, the strategy continues with AHDB's Pork's recent focus on increasing consumption with a target of younger consumers. 

An increase in domestic marketing spend of £1 million is proposed to help position pork as a versatile meal solution, rather than a species alternative to other meats. The spending will be weighted towards 2017, the first year of the strategy.

A recurring theme is how the pig industry could benefit from differentiated British pork, which has received good support from many retailers.

The levy body's strategy director Mick Sloyan told the November NPA producer group meeting, in order to achieve this, AHDB Pork wants to explore whether pricing mechanisms for pig producers could be improved, driven by research into carcase classification methods and quality measures.

This would help translate improved communication of consumer demands through the supply chain and more efficient supply chain working, he said. 

Meryl Ward (pictured above), AHDB Pork chair, added: “Research also shows consumers value origin and ethics after price and appearance when considering meat, so AHDB Pork will continue to defend and promote the image and uniqueness of English pig farming on topics such as production systems and antibiotic use.

"We will also develop the collection and communication of Real Welfare assessment data further building the industry’s reputation for high welfare across all production systems.”

Innovation focus

Innovation is another key theme. Mrs Ward added: “Our new strategy looks at how we can make best use of the €2 million funding for the Pig Innovation Group funding being co-ordinated through AHDB. This will enable us to learn best practice and adopt the brightest ideas from Europe.

“The new Agritech Centre of Innovation and Excellence for Livestock (CIEL) is an opportunity to focus industry R&D priorities, recognising the substantial differences between the English and EU industries. 

““We will also look at introducing a new skills framework to bring together existing fragmented training schemes to ensure the industry attracts and retains the best staff, recognising that good stockmanship combined with excellent business management is a key component of farm business success.”

The strategy also proposes further development of pig health surveillance work both on-farm and at abattoir to enhance both pig health and welfare and food safety.

  • Pork levy rates for 2017/18 remain unchanged.
  • The strategy consultation closes on January 9 2017.