Tag Archives: National Pork Board

The National Pork Board has named Norman Bessac as its new Vice President of International Marketing. Bessac is currently director of international sales for Tyson Fresh Meats, a position he has held since 2016.

Bessac has spent his entire career in international sales and marketing, business development, customer communications and consumer insights roles in the fresh meat industry. Prior to Tyson, Bessac served as the vice president of international pork sales and marketing at Cargill Meat Solutions in Wichita, Kansas.

“The marketing and promotion of U.S. pork has never been more critical for America’s pork producers,” said Bill Luckey, chair of the Pork Checkoff’s International Marketing committee and a pig farmer from Columbus, Nebraska. “Given today’s challenging international marketing environment, Norman’s extensive knowledge of the pork industry and his deep experience in international markets and consumer preferences will continue our work to elevate pork sales on the global level.”

U.S. pork exports are challenged by the ongoing renegotiation of trade agreements, especially for top markets like Japan, Mexico, Canada and China. While the volume of exports has remained strong in the past year, the value of pork exports was relatively steady, declining by 1 percent, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports represent approximately 26 percent of all U.S. production.

The National Pork Board works closely with USMEF and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in researching and developing new markets and expanding the existing customer base for U.S. pork. In 2018, top global markets for U.S. pork exports include Mexico, Japan, China, South Korea, Canada and Colombia.

“As the pork industry’s continued success depends heavily on access to export markets, it is important to collaborate with experts that can identify new markets while meeting the marketing needs of established markets,” said Bill Even, National Pork Board chief executive officer. “That means continuing to work closely with USMEF, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and NPPC. We welcome Norman to the Pork Checkoff in this very important role.”

Over the years, Bessac has held many strategic leadership roles in the food industry with top household name brands including Tyson, Cargill and Sara Lee. Bessac will join the Pork Board staff on April 1.

“I’m honored to join the Pork Checkoff in this critical role. I have decades of experience and knowledge of the fresh meat industry, specifically from the perspective of global food production, processing, sales and marketing,” Bessac said. “I know the players well and look forward to continuing to work closely with them as I shift my focus in a new, aggressive direction on behalf of America’s pork producers.”

Bessac has a Master of Business Administration degree from Vanderbilt University’s Owen School of Business (Nashville) and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing/Management from the University of South Carolina (Columbia).

The National Pork Board recently kicked off activities for this week’s Pork Industry Forum in Orlando. The 15-member board packed 900 meals to help feed hungry children in the area in partnership with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Contributing to a better way of life in the communities where pig farmers live and work is one of the We CareSM ethical principles.

“The We Care ethical principles form the core of who we are as farmers. It is important to not only talk about our principles, but to live them out every day both on the farm and in our travels,” said Steve Rommereim, president of the National Pork Board and a pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota. “While we have important business to attend to during the National Pork Industry Forum, we are never too busy to give back to communities, even those that we visit for a short period of time.”

Second Harvest Food Bank’s Hi-Five Kids Pack program will distribute the meals. Since 2006, the program supports educators seeking a solution to students who came to school sick and unable to learn on a Monday because they had not eaten since their school lunch the previous Friday. Second Harvest Food Bank partners with elementary schools that have a significant percentage of student participation in free and reduced-cost lunch programs to distribute the packs.

“These food packs are vitally important by offering kid-friendly items such as cereal, shelf-stable milk and juice and fruit cups,” said Dave Krepcho, President and CEO of the Second Harvest Food Bank. “We appreciate the support of the U.S. pork industry this week, especially the protein-rich pork sticks provided by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. This is something new and different for our clients.”

Producer delegates from across the country are in Orlando this week for the annual National Pork Industry Forum. This business meeting allows directors and staff of the National Pork Board to hear directly from Pork Act delegates appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.