2020 Stakeholder Report - Pork Checkoff

2020 Stakeholder Report

The National Pork Board’s agile approach at the speed of business improved programs and priorities despite the crises the pork industry endured in 2020.

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Learning and Adapting for the Future

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National Pork Board 2020 Highlights

The following highlights summarize the National Pork Board’s work in 2020.

The Data Behind Our Decisions

2020 and its challenges brought on the need to prioritize insights to inform quick and precise decision-making.

Data collection methods like consumer market research and social media monitoring helped us know how and when to pivot pork marketing strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic.


NPB surveyed 6,900 consumers since March 2020.

The At-Home Meat Pulse Tracker was instrumental during the last year, providing real-time insights to help inform the Real Pork launch and capitalize on pandemic-related momentum for pork in retail.

Creating Demand at Foodservice and Retail

Checkoff-funded data and insights were used to help food chain partners understand consumer behavior and inform product development and marketing strategies.

When COVID-19 forced grocery retailers, packers and foodservice to adapt quickly to changing consumer habits, NPB investigated, analyzed and helped partners react to these significant behavioral changes as well.

Selling Pork as 100% Real Choice for U.S. Consumers

The COVID-19 pandemic shifted U.S. food consumption habits overnight. These changes remained in place even months after initial quarantines and lockdowns.

NPB seized on this appetite for in-home cooking variety to present the often overlooked versatility of pork.


Consumers spent $6.4 billion on fresh pork in 2020.

That’s up 18.7% from 2019.

Source: IRI Syndicated Integrated Fresh. Total US Multi Outlet. December 2020.

U.S. Pork Exports Break Records

U.S. pork exports experienced a record year in 2020 despite COVID-19 disruptions in the global pork supply chain and the ongoing global impacts of African swine fever (ASF).

In 2020, NPB made progress toward export market diversification a stated priority for pork producers. That means not only expanding into new and stable markets, but also increasing product variety in core markets.

2020 Top U.S. Pork Export Markets by Value

Source: USMEF and USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

Source: USMEF and USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

2020 Top U.S. Pork Export Markets by Volume

Source: USMEF and USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

Source: USMEF and USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

Prepare and Prevent Foreign Animal Disease

Keeping FAD out of the United States is a familiar and continuing priority for NPB. The COVID-19 pandemic presented new challenges for the pork industry last year, and work and lessons learned will inform ongoing FAD prevention and mitigation efforts.

New tools, research and relationships equipped the pork industry to respond to foreign animal diseases.

  • Introduced over 70 industry stakeholders to AgView.
  • Supported 9 expedited research and field trials on emergency depopulation.
  • Spent $1.6 million for disease prevention and mitigation research.

COVID-Related Media Interviews

NPB provided media training for 25 pork industry representatives who served as spokespeople in COVID-related interviews.

These spokespeople interacted with more than 150 media outlets about issues related to the COVID-19 response in 2020.

This strengthened consumer confidence in the pork supply chain despite disruptions.

We Care Ethical Principles

National Pork Board placed an increased emphasis on the six We Care Ethical Principles in 2020. This includes work related to food safety, animal wellbeing, our people, community outreach and protection of both the environment and public health.

Research, education and cross-industry collaboration position our industry to continue evaluating and improving our practices in 2021 and beyond.


NPB issued 100,409 industry certifications from 2018 to 2020.

69,070 PQA Plus certifications

31,339 TQA certifications

United States of Pork

Collaboration among state and national pork groups surged amid COVID-19 and natural disasters.

  • 10 COVID response grants awarded to state-specific projects, with learnings shared across the industry.
  • Conducted more than 50 standing calls for state associations to share the latest and most relevant information nationally.
  • 80 priority state-hosted meetings and events supported and attended by NPB, including state tradeshows and annual meetings and educational events.
  • 57 producer meetings and farm visits attended jointly by state association and NPB staff to understand issues facing producers and how collaboration could address them.