Revisions to the voluntary Pork Quality Assurance Plus 3.0 (PQA Plus) were announced during World Pork Expo in Des Moines.
New research information has been incorporated to increase the program’s effectiveness and to help ensure its validity with customers and consumers.
“PQA Plus demonstrates to our customers our commitment to doing what is right when it comes to raising and caring for pigs and producing pork,” said Stephen Summerlin, senior vice president of live operations for Seaboard Foods. “It also lets our employees on our farms, as well as our supplier partners in raising pigs for our pork brands, know that we have high standards and expectations for food safety and animal care.”
“PQA Plus has been and still is the heart of our industry's commitment to doing what’s right for people, pigs and our planet,” said Jan Archer, National Pork Board incoming president and a pork producer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. “This program is the standard that pork producers have endorsed since 1989. Through this program, we earn the credibility from our consumers.”
The PQA Plus enhancements include:
-The We Care ethical principles now serve as program chapters.
-The 10 Good Production Practices are now sub-chapters and align with a caretaker’s daily flow of responsibilities.
-The site assessment now aligns with the Common Swine Industry Audit.
-Flexibility in the program allows for customization and alignment with an farm’s standard operating procedures.
-Online training is divided into 14 individual modules that range from 2 to 14 minutes.
-To help prepare for the implementation of FDA guidance 209 and 213 on Jan. 1, 2017, a new 12-page Responsible Antibiotics Use Guide accompanies the new version of PQA Plus.
-For more information on the revised PQA Plus program, visit pork.org/certifications.
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety and sustainability and environmental management.
Source: National Pork Board