In 2007, Pork Quality Assurance evolved into Pork Quality Assurace Plus (PQA Plus)to reflect increasing customer and consumer interest in the way food animals are raised. PQA Plus was built as a continuous improvement program. Maintaining its food safety tradition to ensure that U.S. pork products continue to be recognized domestically and internationally as the highest quality and safest available, it also provides information to ensure producers can measure, track and continuously improve animal wellbeing. With PQA Plus, pork producers have another tool to demonstrate that they are socially responsible.
The PQA Plus program achieves its goals through:
- Producer training by a certified PQA Plus advisor which results in the producer receiving PQA Plus certification
- An objective assessment of on-farm animal well-being which, when combined with the education of the producer through PQA Plus certification, results in the farm receiving PQA Plus site status.
- A PQA Plus survey designed to evaluate the implementation of PQA Plus in the industry. Survey results are used to identify opportunities for improvement of the program’s information and delivery.
Youth PQA Plus®
Youth PQA is specifically geared for individuals ages eight to 19 who want to know how to provide the best possible care for their animals as a part of the overall pork chain.
Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) is a program that helps swine transporters, producers and handlers understand how to handle, move and transport pigs and the potential impacts of those actions on pig well-being and/or pork quality. Anyone who handles or transports pigs, or sets protocols for handling pigs, is a potential influencer of animal well-being and pork quality.2013 PQA Plus revisions:
• Online Recertification: PQA Plus recertification will be available online if the producer has current certification. Initial certification under the revised program will require face-to-face training.• We Care Initiative: As revised, PQA Plus aligns more closely with We Care℠ Ethical Principles.• Testing: participants will now be required to pass a test by missing no more than three of the 25 questions.
• Site Assessment: When the site assessment is completed, participating farms must submit a corrective action plan for all non-compliant findings then follow-up with a PQA Plus Advisor to receive site status.
• Trainers/Advisors Certifications: During face-to-face training of Trainers and Advisors, more extensive instructions and information will be shared.
• Implementation: All revisions to PQA Plus will be effective June 7, 2013.