Revisions to the voluntary Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) 3.0 were announced during World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. 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, according to a press release from the National Pork Board.
New research information has been incorporated to increase the program’s effectiveness and to help ensure its validity with customers and consumers. In the press release, the National Pork Board asserted that 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,” Stephen Summerlin, senior vice president of live operations for Seaboard Foods, said in a press release. “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, USA. “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 a 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.