Pork Quality Assurance Plus Showcased at Pork Forum

The Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus program was unveiled at the National Pork Industry Forum in Anaheim, CA, March 3. “Consumers care about animal

The Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus program was unveiled at the National Pork Industry Forum in Anaheim, CA, March 3.

“Consumers care about animal well-being. They can’t define it, but they expect it,” says Hugh Dorminy, a PQA Plus task force member and past president of the National Pork Board. “Producers also care about animal well-being. It’s about who we are and it’s our moral and ethical obligation as well as good business practice.”

Funded by the pork checkoff, PQA Plus is the result of more than a year of work by pork producers, packers-processors, restaurants and retailers under the umbrella of the Pork Industry Animal Care Coalition.

The coalition’s solution was to incorporate an animal well-being component, mainly the pork checkoff’s Swine Welfare Assurance Program, into the Pork Quality Assurance certification program. The solution calls for a continuous improvement system focused on producer education, certification and premises assessment. An audit of a representative sample of sites lends credibility to the program.

The program will launch at World Pork Expo in June and features a three-year implementation period. More information can be found at www.pork.org and click on the producer information tab or call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675.