Iowa pork producers have reached a new milestone as 15,000 Iowa pork producers, employees and others involved in the pork industry have received certification in the Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA) program.

The PQA Plus program outlines 10 good production practices governing food safety and animal well-being. Individuals are first certified through an educational program. Following certification, producers invite PQA Plus advisors to conduct an objective assessment of on-farm practices and work with the advisor to implement improvements.

More than 5,800 Iowa pork production sites also have completed the site assessment portion of PQA Plus. According to the National Pork Board, more than 80 percent of U.S. pork currently originates from a PQA Plus-assessed site. Individual PQA Plus certification and site assessments must be completed every three years to maintain certification and site status.

Additionally, nearly 8,000 Iowa pig-handlers have completed the Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) training.

“PQA Plus helps show everyone we care about our animals and the safety of food we produce. It helps us continually educate our producers and employees and contributes to continuous improvement of our industry,” said Bill Tentinger, Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) president. “By demonstrating their dedication to PQA Plus, TQA and other continuous improvement programs, Iowa pork producers have shown they take great pride in providing a safe, wholesome and healthy product for people around the world.”

PQA Plus is part of the industry aligned We Care responsible pork initiative. This initiative outlines ethical principles for pork producers to produce safe food, protect and promote animal well-being, protect public health, safeguard natural resources, provide a safe work environment and contribute to a better quality of life in our communities.

For more information about PQA Plus, We Care, or other IPPA producer education programs, please contact Tyler Bettin at (800) 372-7675 or tbettin@iowapork.org.

Source: IPPA