International marketing has been a topic of interest here at the National Swine Registry (NSR). For many years, Dr. Doug Newcom, vice president of global technical service, has had the opportunity to experience both U.S. swine production and swine production in other countries such as China, Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines. In his position, he devotes approximately 50 percent of his role to the international programs at NSR.
The international program at NSR revolves around promotion, marketing and education for producers in other countries. There are 12-15 international export members who are breeders, boar studs or exporters. NSR and its membership have developed a multi-faceted approach to the international market that has proven successful. First, we emphasize the creation of long-term relationships or joint-venture opportunities through the development of contacts via tradeshow participation, technical training events and seminar series covering broad management and production aspects of the swine industry. To make these ventures successful, we place great importance on serving their long-term needs with additional technical training, litter recording services and genetic improvement program development. Finally, we continue marketing single spot sales to clients not wanting to create long-term partnerships; while not the primary focus of our marketing plan, this avenue provides additional revenue opportunity to diversify our marketing and promotion platform.
To create joint-marketing opportunities that allow NSR to leverage their budget more effectively, we and our members continue to reach out to entities to partner on international events. These joint efforts have proved successful in China, Vietnam, the Philippines and several other countries in recent years and will continue to be an emphasis moving forward. More recently, the NSR has promoted co-sponsorship opportunities, with our members and their in-country partners, when developing technical service and seminar series.
Today, China is a key target to focus international efforts due to the vast potential of its current market. NSR has one full-time contractor in China to provide full-time representation of NSR, ABG and our members in China. She will be handling litter recording duties, along with managing trade shows, seminar planning and logistics. She had the opportunity, this year, to attend the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, and experience the showpig lifestyle. In addition, another contractor will work directly with ABG members and their Chinese partners to provide on-farm service, as needed.
The creation of joint-venture herds with NSR members and Chinese breeders has been extremely successful. There are currently 13 joint-venture farms, four of which are recording or soon will be recording pigs and utilizing the genetic evaluation system at NSR. Through continued exhibition at trade shows, technical training and seminars, and local contacts, several members are currently in negotiations with Chinese breeders to develop joint-venture relationships.
Since 2009, approximately 15,000 Chinese-born litters have been recorded in the NSR system, generating more than $225,000 in litter recording fees. In 2013, NSR partnered with our members’ in-country partners to provide regional swine seminars focused on genetics, data collection and benchmarking, herd health and biosecurity, waste/manure management, and the National Pork Board Pork Quality Assurance® Plus program that reached almost 400 attendees. The co-sponsors paid roughly 60 percent of the cost of the program. These co-sponsorship opportunities allow NSR to utilize funds in other areas to further promote and market U.S. purebred swine. This type of technical support and training has proven very successful in the past. NSR also had the opportunity to spend 12 days traveling with Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) representatives on a Scientific and Cultural Exchange Program (SCEP) to three Chinese provinces. The group met with several government officials, university professors and producers and learned of new or updated constraints to trade along with developing strategic partnerships
China is beginning to utilize their land better and improve their own herds through data analysis. They are concentrating swine operations in order to be more efficient. Now, they have the means to produce more pigs per sow than ever before. The Chinese producers also are implementing performance testing programs. They have begun to utilize the Swine Testing and Genetic Evaluation System (STAGES) program in an effort to build upon the sows they already have rather than importing new sows every few years. Consequently, producers will see an increase in profits during the process of improving the genetic potential with the STAGES program.
With technology and strong partnerships, NSR hopes to continue to help grow and see postive change in the global swine industry. We hope you enjoyed learning more about the international side of the association! If you would like to learn even more, visit our website’s “Genetics & Technology” tab.