This week, Murphy-Brown LLC announced that it will complete Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) certification training and farm site assessments of all its company-owned and contract grower-owned swine production operation managers and farms in the United States before the end of 2009.
In December 2008, Hormel Foods also formalized its support of the industry's pork safety, antimicrobial use and animal well-being program by announcing that it would require its producer suppliers of pork to be PQA Plus-certified and have their sites assessed under PQA Plus. Hormel also will require that all who transport hogs to its plant be certified in Transport Quality Assurance (TQASM).
As of Apr. 6, over 26,000 pork producers in the United States had received PQA Plus certification. The number of sites that have received PQA Plus site status also is growing. Over 16,600 individuals have been certified in TQA.
"Thousands of responsible pork producers from around the nation have demonstrated their commitment to the health and well-being of the animals in their care, and to providing a safe and wholesome product to their customers by participating in PQA Plus," said Erik Risa, manager of education programs for the Pork Checkoff. "We are excited that the momentum behind the program continues to build."
At the recent Pork Industry Forum in Dallas, Texas, pork producer delegates attending the meeting voted overwhelmingly in support of PQA Plus. "Participating in PQA Plus by getting PQA Plus-certified and by having an assessment of animal well-being practices conducted on their farms is another way pork producers can demonstrate to the industry's customers that they do the right thing on their operations every day," Risa said. "We anticipate that recent announcements of support of the program by participants in each segment of the pork supply chain will be the drive behind more producer participation."
PQA Plus is the industry's flagship pork safety, antimicrobial use and animal well-being program. The program demonstrates to customers, consumers and the public that the pork industry is committed to the responsible production of safe and wholesome pork product. More information on PQA Plus can be found online at pork.org.