The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Wholesale Pork Reporting Negotiated Rulemaking Committee has been established to develop language to amend regulations that will implement mandatory pork price reporting.

Rayne Pegg, administrator of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, said, “Once implemented, this market reporting program will benefit pork producers, packers, processors, retailers, and consumers.”

In a negotiated rulemaking, a proposed rule is developed by a committee composed of representatives of government and the interests that will be significantly affected by the rule. The interests significantly affected by this rule will be represented by the American Meat Institute; Chicago Mercantile Exchange; Food Marketing Institute; Grocery Manufacturers Association; Livestock Marketing Information Center; National Farmers Union; National Livestock Producers Association; National Meat Association; National Pork Producers Council; North American Meat Processors Association, American Association of Meat Processors, and Southeastern Meat Association; United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, and AMS.

 The committee’s first meeting will be held Feb. 8 through Feb. 10 at the Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel in St. Louis. Here the government and organization representatives will discuss protocols, timeframes and the scope of the rulemaking process. The group will also identify key issues facing a mandatory whole pork reporting program.

The meeting is open to the public without advance registration. Those in attendance, including members of the public, are encouraged to make statements during the meeting or file written statements with the committee. Written statements may also be submitted to the committee in advance.

For more information about this meeting, contact Michael Lynch, Chief; USDA, AMS, LS, LGMN Branch; 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 2619-S; Washington, D.C. 20250; Phone (202) 720-6231; Fax (202) 690-3732; or email at Michael.Lynch@ams.usda.gov.

Information regarding future meetings will be announced in the USDA’s Federal Register.

The mandatory price reporting bill was signed into law in late September 2010, which extends livestock reporting requirements for five years and improves transparency within the pork industry to protect producers.