Meat+Poultry - July 2020 - 42

COVER STORY

Malenke worked his way
through procurement
and sales to senior
vice president of
pork operations.

business and not associated selling a niche
product," Malenke said. "They're just
too different."
Malenke and his staff at Sioux Preme
listened to their customers with intent and
knew the animal welfare piece of niche
processing and marketing would matter greatly
down the road, so they committed to it.
"We made some major investments in our
livestock lairage facility and we were one of
the early pioneers to put C02 stunning into our
facility in 2007," Malenke said.

PEOPLE AND THE PROCESS
The change from commodity products to niche
products took some time to establish. Sioux
Preme's previous custom processing ventures

42

MEAT+ POULTRY | 07.20 | www.meatpoultry.com

helped, but as with any change, the company
needed to adjust as it went.
"It probably took us five years to really
get refined," Malenke said. "Determining
the type of cuts and having packaging
capabilities were first steps. Early on when
we started in the business, using Cryovac
packaging was kind of new. It was cutting
edge to put something in a vacuum-packed
bag given we had a lot of product that was
going out paper wrapped. When you're going
into specialty and niche markets, a paper
wrapped product isn't going to work. So, for
us it was an evolution of identifying not only
the final products, but packaging to move
ourselves forward."
As the business increased efficiency,
Malenke and his team developed an ability to
discern whether a potential customer's plan
had the potential to succeed. With Malenke in
charge of operations and the company's long
history of processing, the team could sense
whether a customer was likely to succeed in
the niche market.
"We didn't want to invest time and
energy into something that wasn't going to
materialize," Malenke said. "I've been really
fortunate to have a really solid team around me
throughout the company," he said, "just great
teachers that have been very, very meaningful."
Also, Malenke cites his early involvement
with the North American Meat Processors
Association (NAMP), serving as chair of the
executive committee and president for a
year, as one of his great experiences and a
networking source for some of the best people
in the industry.
"That was really helpful for our niche
marketing development because the
NAMP guys were the foodservice guys,"
he added. "They were the ones looking for
differentiation. They were the ones that
believed in producing something special and
marketing something special."
Stan Lammers, a co-founder of Sioux
Preme Packing Co. holds the No. 1 spot on
Malenke's list of mentors. Lammers' insight
into the pork business stands out still today.
Malenke credits Lammers and his knowledge
as the main forces that taught him the meat
business. Lammers has been gone for almost
20 years now, but Malenke still speaks fondly
of him.


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Meat+Poultry - July 2020

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