WARSAW, N.C., April 6, 2009 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- Murphy-Brown LLC, the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., announced today that it is on schedule to complete the certification and farm site assessment components of the Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) program for all its company-owned and contract grower-owned swine production farms in the United States before the end of 2009. "PQA Plus certification is further evidence of Murphy-Brown's industry leading commitment to socially responsible, sustainable pork production and continual improvement," said Don Butler, director of government relations and public affairs for the company and chairman of the Murphy-Brown Animal Welfare committee.
PQA Plus is an enhanced version of the pork industry's comprehensive quality assurance program originally introduced in 1989. Recently the program was significantly upgraded to include new "Good Production Practices" and an on-farm assessment which incorporates a careful examination of animal care practices. PQA Plus certification and the accompanying site assessments will be renewed on an ongoing basis.
PQA Plus certification is an important component of a broad commitment that Murphy-Brown has made to the U.S. pork industry's Statement of Ethical Principles. These principles include a commitment to: Produce Safe Food, Protect and Promote Animal Well-being, Ensure Practices to Protect Public Health, Safeguard Natural Resources, Provide a Safe Work Environment and Contribute to a Better Quality of Life in our Communities.
"As the industry leader, we are proud to report that we are on schedule to complete PQA Plus certification and farm site assessments for all 480 company-owned farms by September 30, 2009. In addition, we will be assisting all of our approximately 1,700 independent farmers who grow animals for the company on a contractual basis to do the same," added Butler. "We are doing these things because it is the right thing to do and because we care about our people and our animals. Ensuring their well-being is our top priority. We have consistently led the pork industry in the areas of environmental protection through our ISO 14001-certified Environmental Management System, in the realm of animal welfare through our robust and highly acclaimed animal welfare management program, in emergency response to vehicle accidents involving animals through our Animal Rescue Units and in wildlife habitat
enhancement efforts through our cooperative agreements with state wildlife agencies, Ducks Unlimited and others."
Murphy-Brown strongly urges all 67,000 U.S. pork producers to pursue PQA Plus certification and site assessments as soon as possible. We also ask all U.S. packers and processors to encourage their live hog suppliers to complete PQA Plus certification and site assessments at the earliest possible time.
Murphy-Brown LLC is the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc. Headquartered in Warsaw, N.C. Murphy-Brown is committed to producing quality products, preserving family farming and protecting the environment.
SOURCE Murphy-Brown LLC
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