AgStar Financial Services, a top lender to the U.S. pork industry, and Tyson Foods Inc., one of the nation's leading pork processors, pledged their support at the World Pork Expo for the pork industry's "We Care" responsible pork initiative, a move welcomed by the National Pork Producers Council.
The "We Care" program was developed by NPPC and the National Pork Board to help demonstrate that pork producers are committed to caring for their animals, producing safe food, protecting the environment and public health and giving back to the communities in which they live. The initiative also includes the Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus program, which provides pork producers guidelines on food safety and animal well-being. Producers can become PQA Plus-certified by adhering to the guidelines and undergoing an on-farm assessment of their production practices.
AgStar Financial presented NPPC and the Pork Board $50,000, which will be used to develop and maintain a web site dedicated to the "We Care" initiative. The site is expected to be launched soon.
Tyson Foods donated $10,000, which will be used to help conduct on-farm assessments. It also announced that it will require all of its hog suppliers to become PQA Plus-certified by June 30, 2010; suppliers will need to have their operations assessed by Dec. 31, 2010.