Pork producers know that maintaining customers’ trust is good for business and good for the pork industry. That’s why more producers than ever are certified in Pork Quality Assurance Plus.

If you haven’t taken this important step, now’s a great time to achieve PQA Plus certification and PQA Plus site status, according to Erik Risa, education program manager for the Pork Checkoff.

“We can talk all day about our ethical principles and commitment to animal care, but it’s much more powerful when we walk to the talk,” Risa said. “That’s why the PQA Plus program has become the cornerstone of the industry’s We Care initiative, which highlights producers’ long-term commitment to responsible pork production and ongoing improvement in industry practices.”

PQA Plus addresses food safety and animal well-being by:

* Offering a way for individuals to become certified through an education program.
* Providing PQA Plus site status designation through an on-farm site assessment.

By mid-January of 2010, more than 41,300 producers had received PQA Plus certification, and 8,700 sites had been assessed.“While the number of sites may seem like a drop in the bucket, those farms house millions of pigs,” said Risa.

When producers are certified in PQA Plus and achieve PQA Plus site status, the industry’s customers can have the confidence in the safety of pork and the animal husbandry practices that producers employ as they care for their animals, said Tim Bierman, president of the National Pork Board and certified PQA Plus and site assessed producer from Iowa.

“Producers have the tools available to them to show our customers that we are doing the right thing and that we are accountable for our actions,” Bierman said.

Source: NPB