Consortium of US universities to build consumer trust in pork

Consortium of US universities to build consumer trust in pork
Jun 30, 2023

The university consortium will create a five-year plan to increase US pork consumption.

By Andrew Joseph,

The US National Pork Board has begun a five-year plan to strengthen consumer confidence in choosing pork for meals.

Five universities have joined forces as The Real Pork Trust Consortium to work on three areas of consumer trust:

  1. Research designed to answer consumer questions about pork and pork production;
  2. Communications that share the research findings in a relatable, relevant way that consumers can easily understand and use when making decisions;
  3. Training to empower people from various walks of life to share research-based information about the pork industry.

"The producer leaders of the National Pork Board recognize the need to engage with consumers to make sure we understand their questions and that they understand more about our commitment to people, pigs, and the planet," explained Bob Ruth, a pork producer from Pennsylvania and the 2023–24 president of the National Pork Board. “We also know we can’t do that alone. This unique partnership with exceptional talent from multiple land grant universities is an innovative approach for our industry, and we’re excited to support the effort through the consortium’s advisory council as they identify the most impactful ways to build trust in modern pork production.”   

The Consortium’s five universities are: Iowa State University; the University of Georgia; North Carolina State University; North Carolina A&T State University; and the University of Minnesota.

Among the five universities are leading experts in science communication, animal science, animal welfare, veterinary medicine, meat sciences and product safety, nutrition, agricultural economics, sustainability, sociology, and agricultural education who will work side by side using a systems approach.

“Consumers want answers to their questions about the food they eat—and we have good, science-backed answers to share,” said Professor Alexa Lamm of the University of Georgia. “At the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, we are excited to partner with an industry that wants to work with scientists to find the answers and use the best methods to communicate transparently about the research behind pork production. We want everyone to have the information they need to make educated choices about the food they eat.”

The consortium is currently in the planning phase and will share more information about its approach and planned work in the fall.

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