Striving to maintain consumers’ confidence and trust in pork products and producers, the pork industry has adopted a statement of Ethical Principles for U.S. pork producers. Supported by the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council and several state pork associations, the industry believes that the principles are necessary for pork producers to continue to chart their own destiny.
The document is a “statement of what we, as pork producers, believe and how we view our obligation to demonstrate those beliefs in order to earn the trust of our customers and of those who have the power to regulate.” The principles include:
Food Safety: Pork producers affirm their obligation to produce safe food. Management practices, herd health and technology are key components.
Animal Well-being: Pork producers affirm their obligation to protect and promote animal well-being. Proper care, handling, appropriate treatment including veterinary care and timely euthanasia when necessary, are key elements.
Environment: Pork producers affirm their obligation to safeguard natural resources in all practices. Manure management, air quality and protection of natural resources are key components.
Public Health: Pork producers affirm their obligation to protect public health. Production of safe food, use of animal health products and management of manure and air quality are key components. Employee Care: Pork producers affirm their obligation to the health and safety of employees. Providing a work environment where workers are treated fairly and with respect and educating employees on their obligations are key elements.
Communities: Pork producers affirm their obligation to a better quality of life in their communities. Being welcomed and appreciated by one’s community is a privilege that must be earned and maintained. Playing an active role in helping to build a strong community as well as acknowledging community concerns and addressing them are key elements.
Recognizing that the majority of U.S. pork producers have not yet had the opportunity to view the new principles, a process has been developed to allow producers to learn more and to discuss the Statement of Ethical Principles over the next year. The input received from producers will be carefully considered and any necessary amendments will be proposed at the 2009 Pork Industry Forum.