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Agricultural News

Oklahoma Pork Council's Roy Lee Lindsey- To be Pork, its Got to Come From a Pig

Thu, 09 Jan 2020 13:51:51 CST

Oklahoma Pork Council's Roy Lee Lindsey- To be Pork, its Got to Come From a Pig We've been hearing a lot about "Fake Meat" mainly on the beef side lately, but now we are hearing about impossible Pork. Roy Lee Lindsey, for the Oklahoma Pork Council, says for it to be Pork, it has to come from a pig, "You can't be labeled Pork if it didn't come from a pig. That's real simple. So yeah, impossible Pork is impossible. You want to call it plant-based protein, you want to label it as such, that's fine. We're not afraid of competing with other products, but you're not going to build your reputation off of the reputation we have, and the products we've sold, and for generations pork has come from a pig, and when you use that word the consumer knows what it is. They know what they're buying, and we shouldn't be confusing that just because you want to put a different adjective in front of it."

We know we are a few years away from mass production of lab-cultured proteins, but Lindsey says that is something that the Pork Council will continue to keep an eye on, "I think will continue to watch lab-cultured protein to see how that evolves. I think we're still years from seeing lab culture protein be cost-effective enough that you would see it in the store. I think for us the piece is, we think all of those kinds of products; plant-based, lab-cultured, whatever, number one should be subject to the same kinds of food safety, the same kinds of regulatory oversight that we have in terms of producing the pork chop or the sausage link that you had for breakfast today. We think they deserve and should have that same regulatory oversight that we deal with. We think the consumer should expect that and demand the same kind of regulatory oversight to make sure that the products they're getting are inspected, they're labeled, they're all of the things that they're accustomed to getting when they're buying a pork chop when they're buying a pork tenderloin. The same thing should apply to anyone who wants to make a plant-based or some other substitute for meat from an animal. You ought to meet those same regulatory standards that we do."

With the deal with Japan now in place and USMCA on the horizon, Lindsey says they are excited about new prospects, "Itís very exciting for us to see that the trade deal with Japan that went into effect January 1. Basically it sets our tariffs, our quota rates, the same as they are for every other all of our competitors around the world. We had been, with the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and other countries going ahead and finishing TPP and TPP-like agreements. We were behind in terms of we were paying a higher quota; we had a smaller quota, higher tariffs, etc. Now we're all on the same playing field. I was just looking, believe it or not, we're still the lowest cost provider of Pork around the world. And if you give us a level playing field we know we will compete and compete well globally as far as trade. So when Japan is our first or second market by value and volume, getting on that level playing field with folks from around the world gives us a leg up and will help us, I think, hopefully restore some of that market share that we had been slowly losing because we were at a different rate. We were paying higher rates and, the quota was different based on that TPP and TPP-like agreement so very positive when you talk about Japan.

Lindsey also talked about USMCA- saying that he is hopeful that the finish line is in sight. "We don't see any issues with it passing in the senate. Still, until they all push the button and vote, we'll cross our fingers and hope our congressional delegation, all throughout the delegation, all five members in the House voted for USMCA when it went through the House. We expect that Senators Lankford, and Inhofe will also vote for it. They've expressed support for the agreement, and we greatly appreciate their efforts to get this to the finish line. Without champions in Congress, without champions in the senate saying these deals are important for Oklahoma, they're important for the United States. We this thing might still be languishing out there, and so we appreciate the leadership that both Senators Inhofe and Lankford have given us on this. We're really excited about getting us back and formally getting us back to zero tariffs on Pork going into Mexico. Zero tariffs on Pork going into Canada. Again, that's two of our top four markets Mexico's number one in volume and record and or value back and forth number two in the other. Canada is our fourth-largest market for exports. So right now, three of our top four, as of maybe the end of this week, having us back at tariff levels that give us an advantage I think long term and make us more competitive around the world."

Hays and Lindsey also talked about China and the potential that it holds for US Pork.

To listen to their conversation, click on the LISTEN BAR below.


Ron Hays talks pork issues with OkPork's Roy Lee Lindsey
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