Revisions to the voluntary Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus 3.0 were announced during the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa. The updated program, effective as of June 8, reflects pork producers' commitment to continuous improvement and more fully incorporates the six We Care ethical principles and the role of caretakers.
New research information has been incorporated to increase the program's effectiveness and to help ensure its validity with customers and consumers. Pork producers maintain a commitment to providing a safe, high-quality product while promoting animal well-being, environmental stewardship and public health.
“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.”
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 two to 14 minutes long.
* To help prepare for implementation of Food & Drug Administration Guidance #209 and #213 on Jan. 1, 2017, a new 12-page "Responsible Antibiotics Use Guide" accompanies the new version of PQA Plus.
“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, N.C. “This program is the standard that pork producers have endorsed since 1989. Through this program, we earn the credibility from our consumers.”
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.