Pork industry assurance programs
Certification acquired within pork industry assurance programs provides pork producers and transporters increased market access opportunities and job retention.
Currently, meat packers throughout the United States require Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA +) certification and PQA+ Site Assessment status of all pork producers from whom they purchase market hogs. In addition, livestock transporters moving market hogs to packing plants are required to be Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) certified. It is imperative to note that producers and handlers must re-certify in each program every three years.
By acquiring certification in these programs, pork producers and allied industry representatives understand and implement the program’s 12 care and well-being principles of proper swine care standards to assure that hogs were raised, handled and transported in a manner generally accepted by consumers. In turn, Michigan pork producers and transporters are equipped with the knowledge to provide safe and wholesome pork products for consumers.
According to National Pork Board data, in Michigan there are currently 1,602 individuals PQA + certified, 234 sites have been PQA + site assessed and 451 handlers certified in the TQA program.
MSU Extension serves as the primary provider of these programs for the Michigan pork industry. For more information and upcoming certification sessions in regard to pork industry assurance programs, please contact Tom Guthrie at (517) 788-4292, Beth Ferry at (269) 445-4438 or Dr. Ron Bates at (517) 432-1387.