Indiana Pork has made a subtle but significant shift in its promotion efforts. At its annual meeting in Indianapolis on Tuesday, it announced it will be using checkoff dollars to promote pork rather than pork production. Despite repeated attacks by activist groups on how pork is produced, Sarah Ford with Indiana Pork said producers have shifted their focus to promoting the product rather than the industry, “The Product Promotion and Industry Image committee decided it would be more important to just promote the product. At the end of the day, we are trying to sell pork.” She added the producers felt that consumers had a good image of the industry and for the most part trusted farmers, “Let’s focus on promoting the cuts and just let people enjoy eating pork.” Ford told HAT the Indiana Pork web site has been changed to a totally consumer-oriented site, “There are recipes there that are totally accessible and plenty of photos of well cooked pork and meal ideas.” A producer-oriented web site will be launched in 2016.
Ford added the checkoff funded promotional activities are all built around showcasing pork, “We worked with the Colts this season to promote pork by a contest that had people submit pork recipes for a chance to win a year’s supply of bacon.” She said, for the next several years. checkoff dollars will be used for Pork Day at the Indiana State Fair. Later this week a group of “mommy bloggers” will gather at the Pork office for a demonstration on cuts of pork. One of the primary messages Indiana Pork wants to deliver to consumers is how to properly prepare pork, “We will be talking a lot about cooking pork to 145 degrees and getting people used to having some pink in their pork.”
A lot of that properly prepared work was on display Tuesday evening at the annual Taste of Elegance celebration at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. Some of the top chefs in the state competed for top honors for creatively preparing gourmet pork meals. Pork producers, industry leaders, and members of the General Assembly attended the swanky reception.