Universities Combine Expertise to Build Trust between Pork Producers and Pork Consumers 

Des Moines, IA – The National Pork Board recently announced a new five-year effort focused on addressing consumer questions related to the pork industry’s We Care® Ethical Principles and strengthening consumers’ confidence in choosing pork for their plate.

The Real Pork Trust Consortium brings together the diverse expertise of five universities and will focus on three key areas to build 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 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

NPB President Bob Ruth Discusses Benefits of Consortium

“The producer leaders of the National Pork Board recognize the need to engage with consumers to make sure we understand their questions, and they understand more about our commitment to people, pigs and the planet,” said Bob Ruth, a producer from Pennsylvania and 2023-24 president of 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 consortium’s advisory council as they identify the most impactful ways to build trust in modern pork production.”   

Five Universities Partner to Answer Consumer Questions in Pork Production

The Real Pork Trust Consortium includes the following universities:

  • Iowa State University
  • University of Georgia
  • North Carolina State University
  • North Carolina A&T State University
  • University of Minnesota

Among the five universities, leading experts in science communication, animal science, animal welfare, veterinary medicine, meat sciences and product safety, nutrition, agricultural economics, sustainability, sociology and agricultural education 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 University of Georgia Professor Alexa Lamm. “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. To stay up-to-date on its work and other initiatives from the Pork Checkoff, visit porkcheckoff.org and sign up for the weekly email

The National Pork Board has responsibility for Pork Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in consumer education and marketing, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety, and environmental management and sustainability. For the past half century, the U.S. pork industry has delivered on its commitment to sustainable production and has made significant strides in reducing the environmental impact of pig farming. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.35 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or visit porkcheckoff.org.