Meat+Poultry - June 2020 - 28

PLANT TOUR

more of the niche and become less dependent
on the commodity business."

ATTRIBUTES AND ANTICIPATION

The Sioux Center
facility offers smaller,
whole hogs for sale to
the public for special
events such as luaus.

28

that 10 minutes is too costly," Malenke said.
"In our business, customers that appreciate
the specialty items we provide ultimately say
the niche is important enough that they'll pay
a little more. Whether it's because of animal
welfare, animal tracing, attributes of Niman
Ranch, or attributes of Coleman, it makes a
difference to our customers."
Those Niman Ranch and Coleman brands
represent roughly 50% of the business Perdue
Premium does out of the Sioux Center
and Sioux City facilities. The other half is
a combination of custom processing and
commodity business.
"Just to gain some understanding, as we've
grown our internal brands, Niman Ranch
and Coleman and our custom processing
customers have grown, we've shrunk the Sioux
Preme business over time because there are
only so many shackles. We've just gone to

MEAT+ POULTRY | 06.20 | www.meatpoultry.com

With the growth of the niche business comes
a growth in the radius PPMC will travel to
get the specific pigs it requires. The majority
of producers doing the necessary things
to comply with the program(s) needed to
fabricate PPMC's products operate throughout
the Midwest.
"We're bringing in specialty pigs from
Northern Missouri, we're bringing in specialty
pigs from South Dakota that we might not
have 20 and 30 years ago when it didn't make
sense to go that far from home to get a pig,"
Malenke said. "But when you start looking at
these niches, they're not for everybody, and
not every producer is going to want to do the
things they have to do to comply with the
program. So, the net has widened and we're
circling a wider radius than we were 25 and 30
years ago."
Processors must anticipate the market to
make a successful niche business. Decisions
on whether to commit to producers must take
place months prior to exchange of goods and
be based on probable demand.
"Take non-GMO for example, the piglet
is born then somewhere around five to six
months later, it's going to be a market animal
and walk in this door," Malenke said. "Well,
you can't just create more of those because
someone wants to buy more non-GMO product
today. You have to anticipate and have some
structure and thought going into how much
you're going to grow that business. So, you're
kind of trying to out guess what the customers
do to some degree."
The front end of the niche business
involves the relationships between PPMC and
its producers, the farmers that provide the
specialty pigs, and how the processor meets
their wants and needs. When Niman Ranch or
Coleman Natural asks a producer to make the
commitment to produce pigs a certain way, the
producer needs to know it can count on the
processor to buy them.
"They are not going to sign up and say, 'Yes,
I'll do all these extra things and have all these
extra costs and then I'll cross my fingers and
hope you purchase something,'" Malenke said.
"It doesn't work that way."


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Meat+Poultry - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - June 2020

Meat+Poultry - June 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - June 2020 - FC - 1
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