Producer delegates at the National Pork Industry Forum requested that the National Pork Board consider developing and implementing an online option for attaining PQA Plus program certification.
The PQA Advisory Task Force supports online certification for producers/participants who are renewing their certification. The task force took the position that those who are participating in PQA for the first time, however, should continue to be required to take the education training face-to-face.
Currently, 55,000 pork producers, family members and pork production employees are PQA Plus certified. “In addition, we have nearly 18,000 farms that have received site assessments,” says Chris Novak, NPB chief executive officer. This mean approximately 82 percent of the hogs marketed in the United States originate on farms that have received PQA Plus site assessments.
There is an added value for producers to become certified. “It is important to the nation’s top meat retailers that pork producers are engaged in the PQA Plus program and receive site assessment,” Novak says. “In addition, many pork processing facilities require producer certification in both PQA Plus and TQA (Transport Quality Assurance) to accept hogs for processing at their plants.”
The PQA Plus program undergoes review and revision every three years to incorporate new animal production techniques, research findings and technologies. NPB will launch updates to the PQA Plus program at the 2013 World Pork Expo.