National Pork Board CEO Bill Even says the results of consumer research have amplified the need to promote food safety in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak.
Even tells Brownfield at the onset of the African Swine Fever crisis in 2018, the checkoff polled consumers about their perceptions of the safety of pork. After providing additional information about how it’s a viral disease in pigs, not humans and not a public health concern, more than half of consumers still said they would stop eating pork if ASF was found in the U.S.
“Should we be eating pork? Should it be for sale in the store?”
And for Hispanics polled, who tend to eat more pork than the average consumer…
“They had even more concern about our ability to have pork that was safe to eat.”
Even says the checkoff along with partners like USDA has developed video resources for consumers that are available in case there is a disease outbreak.
“Rest assured, there will be many millions of dollars at the ready should we have an event occur around foreign animal disease.”
USDA estimates if a foreign animal disease like ASF was found in the U.S. pork industry, it would also immediately stop exports for an unknown time, valued at more than $6.3 billion annually.