National Pork Board building sustainability metrics for producers

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America’s pork producers are setting new sustainability metrics designed to help ensure consumer confidence in pork, while adapting new technologies on the farm.

According to Brett Kaysen, Vice President of Sustainability with the National Pork Board, while building on the We Care Ethical Principles, producers are driven to meet consumer’s expectations and demonstrate their improvements in sustainability.

“And consumers expectations today is they’re demanding to understand more about where their food comes from and what it takes to make that food and the inputs required. So, in the case of pork, what consumers really asking us about is what are pigs fed, how are they taking care of, how can I have trust and confidence in U.S. pork, so it starts with the end in mind is I’d like to say.”

Kaysen says, building on decades of continuous improvement by pork producers, work on the proposed sustainability metrics began in June of 2020. With producer input, the National Pork Board began building a sustainability framework based on goals and key performance indicators.

“Producers need to know is that Brett and the staff here at National Pork Board will be coming to you soon to get your feedback your input your thoughts of what’s been authored to date, so that we can make it is appropriate and as effective and as efficient as possible for producers of all size and scale.”

Kaysen encourages producers to think about the sustainability practices they are already doing on their farms and how they can share those practices with consumers and those with questions about modern pork production.

“Think about those practices that you have on farm today that would communicate to a greater sustainability story. So, part of this for producers, I would challenge you to think about a lot of this work you’re already doing. So, let me give a tangible example, if we’re going to talk about reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, one tangible example as a producer may be doing today or be thinking about doing is, “I’m going to go through my barns and replace my fluorescent lights with LED lighting.” Well one, it’s more sustainable because I’m going to use less energy, which, thus is more profitable for me as a producer, but two, if I’m going to use less energy, I’m going to thus reduce my greenhouse gas emissions or carbon footprint on my farm.”

For more information about the sustainability practices on America’s pig farms, checkout porkcares.org.