Pork producers prepare to meet challenges

WASHINGTON - National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President Jon Caspers said today that pork producers came out of their annual meeting better equipped to face the challenges that face the U.S. pork industry.
calendar icon 11 March 2003
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"Pork producers are willing to back a strong national organization in our nation's capital that will allow them to stand united behind a common purpose and best achieve our objectives in the legislative and regulatory arena," said Caspers, a pork producer from Swaledale, Iowa.

Caspers said that delegates supported a resolution to pursue a repeal of the mandatory country of origin meat labeling program. "Research suggests that country-of-origin labeling will result in negative impacts for the U.S. pork industry with no real benefits," he said. "With the announcement last week that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be putting together a series of listening and education sessions to gain more public input from around the country, we are encouraged that NPPC can now move forward in working with the Administration to voice the concerns of pork producers about reevaluating the negative impacts and moving to a voluntary system."

In addition, Caspers noted that delegates passed a resolution in support of the right of producers to secure market access for their products. "Pork Forum delegates from 44 states voted to support a congressionally directed study on the issues of market access, packer ownership and the concentration of pork packing and swine production systems," he said.

"We understand there was $4.2 million in the 2003 agriculture appropriations bill that will get this study started and urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct a thorough report on the U.S. pork sector regarding these issues," Caspers said.

Pork Forum delegates also voted in support of a plan to double state contributions to NPPC and provide additional assistance for other issues related to the organization's voluntary producer investment program.

Caspers said the support shown for the voluntary producer investment program at Pork Forum will enable NPPC to be more effective in the area of public policy, while representing pork producers of all size who may wish to participate. "Producers have committed to backing a strong advocacy program and are investing their dollars into carrying the program forward," he said. "

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is one of the nation's largest livestock commodity organizations. It has producer members in 44 affiliated state associations and provides a unified voice for America's pork producers on a wide range of industry and public policy issues.

Source: National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) - 10th March 2003

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