Smithfield poised to meet rising demand for ractopamine-free pork

Several of Smithfield Foods pork processing plants have been ractopamine-free since 2012 and its North Carolina facility, the world’s largest pork processing plant will be fully compliant on March 1 with new regulatory requirements from China.

Several of Smithfield Foods pork processing plants have been ractopamine-free since 2012 and its North Carolina facility, the world’s largest pork processing plant will be fully compliant on March 1 with new regulatory requirements from China.

The pork producer has been leveraging its integrated platform to supply ractopamine-free pork to export customers for some time. Combined, these two plants will supply the market with more than 43,000 ractopamine-free hogs per day. Hogs will be sourced from company-owned farms, as well as contract producers, and will be fed from feed mills that are entirely ractopamine-free.

C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer, said, "As the largest hog producer in the world, Smithfield is  positioned to deliver differentiated products to meet customer specifications — both domestically and abroad.”

"The conversion of these plants to ractopamine-free is just one example of the flexibility that our vertically integrated model affords us in our ability to adapt to changing consumer demands in the U.S. and in international markets. We believe that this platform will continue to provide a competitive advantage for our company that will add value by fostering customer relationships to increase market share and generate growth," he continued.

In regard to the new third party verification requirement, Mr. Pope remarked that, "We urge the U.S. government to work to quickly and decisively resolve this issue. We are in close contact with the U.S. government to address this situation and our customers in China and Russia are also encouraging their respective governments to develop a protocol with the U.S. government that is acceptable to all parties."

Ractopamine is a safe and effective FDA-approved feed supplement used in the hog farming industry for many years to produce leaner pork. Smithfield will continue to produce pork with and without this supplement according to customer specifications.

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