More than 200 pork-chain professionals are expected to attend the 2nd Annual Responsible Pork Symposium, to be held Feb. 23-25, 2009. Last year''s attendees included representatives from all pork food-chain sectors, including consumers, university leaders, retailers, nutritionists, veterinarians, producers, packers, activists, government officials and general industry consultants. 

Pork magazine, in partnership with the Center for Food Integrity, Michigan State University and Purdue University, will host industry stakeholders for a combination of panel-based discussions and presentations that will focus on the pork food-chain''''s responsibilities in the following categories:

  • Food Safety
  • Animal Well-being
  • Human Capital
  • Environment
  • Consumer choices

Panel discussion and presentations will address threats and challenges that confront the U.S. pork food-chain today and in the future. “Last year, some of the discussions became very lively and controversial topics were debated,” says Cliff Becker, vice president/publishing director for Pork magazine. “This is exactly the type of exchange we had hoped would transpire, and we believe these dialogues need to continue. We plan to mix things up for the second annual symposium to ensure that even more key issues are covered”

Plans are underway to bring a dynamic mix of professionals to the stage.  Last year, keynote speaker Jennifer Garrett, director of nutrition marketing for Kellogg’s, set the stage. “Responsibility and accountability are key issues that lead to business success. Kellogg’s does everything it can to maintain a responsible image," Garrett told the pork-chain leaders. 

Garrett emphasized continuously changing consumer trends and demands, and how the pace of change is much faster today. "We need to be responsible to not just to our customers, but to everyone," she said. "If you take into account other peoples'''' point of view when discussing responsibility, it opens up the dialog and pushes you toward results. encourages you to stay grounded in science and be able to interpret that science so the consumer can relate to the benefit."

"Every participant along the pork food chain has a responsibility to produce safe, high-quality products for the consumer," says Marlys Miller, editor, Pork magazine. "It''''s important that we continue the dialogue and build bridges within the chain so that everyone continues to succeed in that goal. The Responsible Pork Symposium is one more step down that path."

Other industry leaders added insights to last years event including Dallas Hockman, vice president of industry relations for the National Pork Producers Council; Janice Swanson, director animal well-being, Michigan State University; Kellye Pfalzgraf, office of animal well-being for Tyson Foods; Paul Shapiro, senior director of the factory farming campaign for the Humane Society of the United States; Steve Kopperud, senior vice president, Policy Directions; Tres Bailey, senior manager, Federal Government Relations for Wal-Mart Stores; and Julie Maschhoff, director of public relations and co-owner of The Maschhoff’s.

For complete information on the Responsible Pork Symposium, to sign up to be a continued part of the dialogue and solutions, and for a complete list of participating organizations, visit www.ResponsiblePork.com.