Cherokee, Iowa — Area pork producers need to prepare for a new way of doing business.
Pork producers today need to participate in an audit program called the Common Swine Industry Audit. According to the National Pork Board, the goal of the common audit process is to provide the consumer greater assurance of the care taken by farmers and pork processors to improve animal well-being and food safety.
We talked to Iowa State University Extension Swine Specialist Dave Stender. He says that years ago, it was just assumed that every pork producer took good care of his hogs. But a number of years ago, people started wanting more proof about how hogs are treated before they become pork.
So, says Stender, the industry came up with a common audit. They say they’re going to be starting those audits early in 2016.
The audit is currently available to the public and packer-employed auditors are already using the audit system.
Stender says producers need to know that the common audit is actually going to happen, and that they need to be prepared for it. He says the National Pork Board has several resources available on their web site.
Stender says the audit is fairly all-encompassing. He says ISU Extension is also planning some workshops to help producers prepare for an audit.
Call your local county Extension and Outreach office to find out when the next workshops are scheduled. Visit www.extension.iastate.edu. Click on “Locate a county office” to find the office nearest you.
Stender says the workshops will start already in January and there will be a workshop about every four to five weeks all through the summer.