Press releases about Minnesota Pork Producers Association can be found below.

Stop Subsidizing Hog Production, NPPC Asks Canada

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 14, 2012 – In discussions this week with Canadian federal and provincial government officials, the National Pork Producers Council asked that Canada stop its hog subsidy programs before entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks. It pointed out that if similar programs existed in the United States, U.S. pork production would more than double in 10 years, adversely affecting the Canadian hog market.

[The TPP is an Asia-Pacific regional trade agreement that currently includes the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Subsidy programs are not within the scope of the TPP negotiations.] Read more

Use Science In Regulating Antibiotics, Agriculture Coalition Says

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 12, 2012 – A coalition of agricultural organizations sent a letter yesterday to Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., who is seeking to restrict severely antibiotic use in livestock and poultry production, pointing out the stringent federal approval process and regulation of antibiotics, the lack of human health risks from their judicious use in livestock production and the benefits they offer in food animal production.

Members of the coalition include the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Feed Industry Association, American Meat Institute, Animal Health Institute, American Veterinary Medical Association, National Cattleman’s Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Meat Association and the National Turkey Federation.

Slaughter in February asked food companies to submit to her by June 15 their purchasing policies related to antibiotic use in food animals. She is the primary author of the “Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act” (H.R. 965), which seeks to ban the use in livestock and poultry production of several classes of antibiotics employed for preventing and controlling diseases and for promoting nutritional efficiency. Read more

Survey Shows Few Sows In Open Housing

DES MOINES, June 6, 2012 – Results of a survey issued today at the World Pork Expo, the annual trade show of the National Pork Producers Council, show that the overwhelming majority of the U.S. sow herd spends some time in individual housing, known as gestation stalls. The findings confirm NPPC’s concerns about recent pronouncements by food companies that they will use only pork from operations that are gestation-stall free.

The survey, conducted by University of Missouri extension economist Ron Plain, found that currently only 17.3 percent of sows spend a portion of gestation in open pens. Plain surveyed pork operations with 1,000 or more sows. He received responses from 70 operations, which combined own about 3.6 million of the nation’s 5.7 million sows. Read more

Statement of The National Pork Producers Council On Food Companies’ Decisions On Sow Housing

It is very disconcerting that retailers, in making decisions about sourcing pork products, continue to succumb to the pressure of activist groups such as the Humane Society of the United States without any consideration of the impact on American farm families, who produce the safe and affordable pork that they sell to consumers. These unilateral and impulsive announcements are made without any recognition that nearly all of the pork products produced in the United States today come from facilities built for the validated practice of gestation stalls.

Nowhere in the announcements is there any discussion on the willingness of these companies to pay for these requests. These are very complex issues that require interaction of the complete supply chain. Simply making an announcement without understanding the supply chain’s ability to meet the requests or the costs associated with them are simply irresponsible. Our customers need to understand that these announcements come with severe and unintended consequences.

We believe there is a responsibility to ensure that there is transparency, and these food retailers have an obligation to assure their customers that the product they are purchasing is coming from verified sources.

These forced changes on our producers’ choice of sow housing may very well put hog farmers out of business and will certainly increase the price of pork for consumers.

We are American farm families and take great pride in our track record of producing a safe, affordable and healthful food for the American consumer. We think we deserve to be part of these decisions that are being asked of us.

NPPC Disappointed With McDonald’s Decision Questions Remain About Effects On Farming Families

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2012 – The National Pork Producers Council expressed disappointment with McDonald’s decision to move forward with requiring its pork suppliers to phase out the use of individual sow housing. The fast food firm today announced it wants 100 percent of its suppliers to be gestation stall-free in 10 years.

“While we’re disappointed with its decision, McDonald’s – unlike other food companies – did the research to find out how complex this issue is,” said NPPC President R.C. Hunt, a pork producer from Wilson, N.C. “At least it discussed its plans with the pork industry and has concerns with the available pork supply from stall-free operations and with the transition away from stalls that would be required of producers.

NPPC suggested other food companies consider the supply chain realities of the pork industry before making similar decisions. Read more