For the Week Ending February 19, 2010

February 19, 2010

Washington, D.C., February 19, 2010 

DESPITE DROP FROM 2008, PORK EXPORTS IN 2009 ADDED TO PRODUCERS’ BOTTOM LINE


The U.S. pork industry exported its second-highest-ever total of pork in 2009, shipping nearly 1.9 billion metric tons of product worth more than $4.3 billion to destinations around the world. While they fell 11 percent – more than $550 million – from 2008’s record $4.88 billion, 2009 pork exports still topped 2007’s previously second-highest total of $3.2 billion. The 2009 exports added more than $38 to the price pork producers received for each hog marketed, a significant amount given that, on average, they lost about $24 a head in 2009. Japan continued to be the No. 1 importer of U.S. pork, taking more than $1.5 billion of it last year, with Mexico, Canada, China and Russia rounding out the top five export markets. The decrease in pork exports was attributable to a worldwide economic recession, H1N1-related bans by some countries on U.S. pork and non-tariff barriers erected by some major U.S. trading partners. NPPC worked to address the latter two issues, as well as to advance free trade agreements that would increase U.S. pork exports. NPPC is continuing to ask the Obama administration to keep existing export markets open and to urge Congress to approve pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, which combined would add more than $11 to the price of each U.S. hog marketed.

DASCHLE, UN TAKE DIFFERENT LOOKS AT GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION

Former Senator and Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota is calling for policy-makers to focus on solutions to the looming global food problem. In a Feb. 16 opinion article in Politico (click here to read it), Daschle said he was encouraged that world leaders at the recent annual conference of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, included on their agenda “a topic … fundamental to the survival of people around the globe but one that has received far less attention in the press and among policymakers: In order to feed a global population boom of 9 billion people by 2050, we will need to more than double our current levels of food production and develop a set of innovative strategies to combat a host of global-hunger-related and nutritional issues.” Daschle, who recently agreed to co-chair the DuPont Advisory Committee on Agricultural Innovation and Productivity, wrote that leaders should be developing a specific agenda to address this need and that the agenda should be organized around four core principles: scientific and technological innovation, an open and competitive marketplace, collaboration, and getting farmers the tools they need, particularly in the developing world. He believes that collaboration will be needed to meet the demand for food “in a way that promotes health and protects the environment” and that this collaboration must be between farmers, companies, environmental groups, non-governmental organizations and governments. The prominent and critical omission from Daschle’s discussion was the livestock side of agriculture – he focused on crops and crop production innovations such as biotech. But the role of livestock in meeting world food needs did get prominent attention from another source this week. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued a press release Feb. 17, stating that “urgent investments, major agricultural research efforts and robust governance are required to ensure that the world’s livestock sector responds to a growing demand for animal products and at the same time contributes to poverty reduction, food security, environmental sustainability and human health.” The FAO discusses the matter in some detail in the new edition of its flagship publication, the State of Food and Agriculture. FAO stresses in the report that livestock is essential to “the livelihoods of around one billion poor people” and “that it provides income, high-quality food, fuel, draught power, building material and fertilizer, thus contributing to food security and nutrition. For many small-scale farmers, livestock also provides an important safety net in times of need.”

 

WHAT’S AHEAD
NPPC TO CO-HOST ANTIBIOTICS IN LIVESTOCK BRIEFING

NPPC, along with a coalition of animal industry organizations, Reps. David Scott, D-Ga., Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, Zack Space, D-Ohio, and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., February 23 will host an educational briefing on how farmers and ranchers utilize antibiotics to produce healthy animals. A panel of veterinarians, academicians and livestock producers, including NPPC member Dr. Craig Rowles, will lead the discussion on Capitol Hill for lawmakers and their staff. Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, will give opening remarks at the House briefing in the Rayburn Building. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, will host the same panel the same day in the Dirksen Senate Building.

 

HOUSE AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATIONS HEARING

The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the President’s proposed FY 2011 agriculture budget February 24.  Secretary Vilsack is scheduled to testify at the hearing.

 

NPPC, NATIONAL PORK BOARD ANNUAL FORUM MARCH 4-6

NPPC and the National Pork Board will hold their 2010 annual meeting – the National Pork Industry Forum – March 4-6 in Kansas City, Mo. For more information on the meeting, call (515) 278-8012. Media inquiries should be directed to Dave Warner at (202) 347-3600; for media registration, visit 2010 National Pork Forum.
NPPC WORLD PORK EXPO JUNE 9-11

NPPC’s annual World Pork Expo will be held June 9-11 at the Iowa State fairgrounds in Des Moines. Follow @NPPCWPX on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NPPCWPX for coming announcements and updates on the largest pork industry trade show and exhibition in the world.