New Pork Common Industry Audit Gains Third-Party Certification, Builds on PQA Plus Program
After 18 months of industry collaboration, the National Pork Board announced that the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO) certified a new common industry audit platform for pig farmers, packers, processors and customers, and that the new tool is available to the public. Designed to provide consumers greater assurance of the care taken to improve animal well-being and food safety, the tool expands the existing Pork Quality Assurance® Plus program to serve as a single, common audit platform for the industry.
“As an industry, we know that our consumers are demanding a higher level of integrity from the pork industry’s quality assurance processes and procedures,” said John Johnson, chief operating officer of the National Pork Board. “We are encouraged by the broad support we have received from our industry partners to develop this tool that has now gained third-party certification.”
America’s pig farmers first introduced the concept of a common audit at the 2013 National Pork Industry Forum. Since then, farmers, packers, vets and academia have come together to construct a credible, affordable solution for improving animal well-being.
This new audit has several key components, including a new toolkit for farmers, instructions for auditors and a detailed description of on-farm biosecurity. It was beta-tested on farms across the country and is ready for implementation by farms and processing plants across the U.S. To help avoid the duplicative, costly, and inefficient audit programs that are commonplace in some countries, this new tool is designed to:
- Meet individual company and customer needs
- Focus on outcome-based criteria that measure and improve animal welfare
- Provide clarity with regard to audit standards and expectations
- Minimize duplication and prevent over-sampling
- Ensure greater integrity of the audit process through consistent application
“As a pork producer, I am excited because this announcement of a common platform sets a clear vision that challenges the status quo and meets domestic and international consumer needs,” said National Pork Board President Dale Norton. “It’s the right tool at the right time to ensure we provide high-quality pork from well-cared for pigs.”
Pork producers and allied industry can learn more about the common industry audit by going to www.pork.org/commonaudit
Click here to read frequently asked questions on the new common industry audit.
Note: To view the news release from PAACO regarding the common industry audit, go to http://animalauditor.org/press.php