Iowa pork producers embrace food safety, animal well-being programs

Iowa pork producers embrace food safety, animal well-being programs

Posted March 30, 2012

Iowa pork producers have reached a new milestone as 15,000 Iowa pork producers, employees and others with pork industry interests have been certified through the Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus® program.

PQA Plus was launched in 2007 as a continuous improvement program outlining 10 good production practices in the areas of food safety and animal well-being. Individuals are first certified through an educational program. Following certification, producers invite PQA Plus advisors to conduct an objective assessment of practices on the farm and work with the advisor to implement improvements. Individual certification and site assessments must be completed every three years to maintain PQA Plus certification and site status.

A random sample of assessed sites is selected each year for third-party verification of the program. Data from this verification will be used to help determine necessary areas for improvement and increased education for producers.

More than 5,800 Iowa pork production sites also have completed the site assessment portion of PQA Plus. According to the National Pork Board, more than 80 percent of U.S. pork currently originates from a PQA Plus-assessed site.

Additionally, nearly 8,000 Iowa pig-handlers have completed the Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) training.

“PQA Plus helps show everyone we care about our animals and the safety of food we produce. It helps us continually educate our producers and employees and contributes to continuous improvement of our industry,” said Bill Tentinger, 2012 Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) president. “By demonstrating their dedication to PQA Plus, TQA and other continuous improvement programs, Iowa pork producers have shown they take great pride in providing a safe, wholesome and healthy product for people around the world.”

PQA Plus is part of the industry aligned We Care responsible pork initiative. This initiative outlines ethical principles for pork producers to produce safe food, protect and promote animal well-being, protect public health, safeguard natural resources, provide a safe work environment and contribute to a better quality of life in our communities.

For more information about PQA Plus, We Care or other IPPA producer education programs, please contact Tyler Bettin at (800) 372-7675 or